My Afghanistan: Life in the Forbidden Zone
Directed by Nagieb Khaja
Nagieb Khaja is a Danish journalist of Afghan origin and he believes that the West makes decisions on Afghanistan based on an uninformed view of the country and its people. Nagieb a man with a mission. A few years ago Nagieb traveled to Afghanistan in order to refine the simplistic media image of the country, but he ended up as a prisoner of the Taliban and barely escaped. On the next trip, Nagieb brought 30 mobile cameras and asked Afghan civilians to film themselves. For the first time, we are invited into life in the forbidden zone with all the joys and sorrows, victories and defeats associated with living in the shadow of war.
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★★★½ review by David Halberstadt on Letterboxd
When you read any news or stories about Afghanistan, you either hear about foreign soldiers or Taliban. But what about the civilians who are caught in the crossfire? Journalists aren't allowed in so Director Nagieb Khaja gives a handful of people within camera phones and asks them to film what their lives are like. It is heartwarming to see families and people not unlike ourselves and tragic to see how much they've lost. However, it is merely a glimpse and it doesn't feel like a complete film, ending at what feels like an arbitrary point. Occasionally, the film unnecessarily returns to the director, sitting in a hotel and watching footage with a solemn face. Give us more time with the people and less time with you, Mr. Khaja.
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