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Kandahar (2001)

Cast: Niloufar Pazira, Niloufar Pazira, Hassan Tantai, more...
Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
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Studio: New Yorker Video
Genre: Foreign
Running Time: 85 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
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Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf examines the troubling story of life in neighboring Afghanistan in this compelling drama. Nafas (Niloufar Pazira) is a reporter who was born in Afghanistan, but fled with her family to Canada as a child, escaping the violence of the country's political instability. However, her sister wasn't so lucky; she lost her legs to a land mine while young, and when Nafas and her family left the country, her sister was accidentally left behind. Nafas receives a letter from her sister announcing that she's decided to kill herself during the final eclipse before the dawn of the 21st century; desperate to spare her sister's life, Nafas makes haste to Afghanistan, where she joins a caravan of refugees who, for a variety of reasons, are returning to the war-torn nation. As Nafas searches for her sister, she soon gets a clear and disturbing portrait of the toll the Taliban regime has taken upon its people. Also featuring Hassan Tantai and Sadou Teymouri, Safar E Gandehar was shown in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • International Trailer
  • Commentary by Nelofer Pazira
  • "Lifting the Veil" - Documentary about the film
  • Cast and Director Bios
  • Photo Gallery

GreenCine Member Reviews

Enlightening but shallow by KSwanson May 1, 2003 - 1:30 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Billed as a suspenseful road movie, Kandahar proves its value not in that vein, but in its depiction of the bleak existence of Afghanis stranded on both sides of the Iranian border during pre-9/11 Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. This discovery is made through the dual stories of two English-speaking semi-outlanders whose meeting and subsequent dialogue facilitate this film's obviously intended western audience. The actual story line is quite shallow, but allows the persistence of the grander situation to be distinguished.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.61)
82 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2001
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
Jonathan Rosenbaum's 2002 recommendations
Original Chicago Reader link. His note says it all: Jonathan Rosenbaum's best-of list nominates those that dared to be original.

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