the film is beautiful, and has an idealist preaching
tone, like a biased documentary, or a vernacular fable. the photography
is magnificent finding beauty in what is left of a ghost of a
country devasted by both Talibans and the UN coalition!
IMHO, the ruins are too cute, like if nothing happened. apart
from the bullet holes in the walls, and the houses torn apart,
i didnt feel the violence of war, the pain of the families, the
wounds of the society. all they seem to complain about is the
blasphems of fundamentalist religion infringments by women new
liberties, the rest (thirst, hunger, homelesness, refugees, missing
persons, mines) are already part of daily life, unfortunately.
i think she should have described violence in a more present manner.
i believe 1 year is not enough to wipe it off their memories,
and their lives. no mention of carpet bombings, mere mention of
the exiting taliban regime, insignificant mention of foreign army
"occupation", forgetful mention of Bin Laden and the
Mollahs who initiated this mess, total silence about the tribal
civil war that fire up the entire Afghanistan (outside Kabul :
lone city protected by the soldiers).
this is definitely not a political documentary. that is why i
call it a fable. a fable about the hope of women who discover
the hope to access position none of their peers ever enjoyed before.
("naive" like u say)
but can u really treat such a sensible subject with so much missing
key facts of history?
maybe too optimistic, as frankly none of this is going to ever
change in decades... i understand this movie, like her short in
11'09"01 - September 11, is didactic to educate the locals
with basic information, and look pretty to the western intellectuals
fond of muslim cinema.
this said, the movie is well warped up and the story of htis family
gathers all the issues bore by the afghani people: losses, religion,
starvation, refugees, women conditions, education.
the radical fundamentalists who STILL rule the spirit of this
people, not just the elite, most of the people is behind this
strict laws. the Coran says:
-women shall not dance, to hide their beauty to men.
-women shall not interact with a stranger.
-If women really have to speak, they shall stick a finger in their
mouth to distort their voice and sound not like a woman.
-Men shall turn away their eyes if they encounter a women uncovered.
-if your wife refuses herself to you at night, you shall not share
your bed with her and beat her.
-a woman shall not work or study.
Samira Makhmalbaf makes a case about religion instead, and pursue
her work to promote liberation of women in muslim countries. which
is as good of a quest, because changing mentalities will take
time and efforts.
The discussion with the french soldier is only truth. And i have
to admit this "alien" political deabte in english between
a french soldier who doesnt want to take position about his country
(a good mindless soldier like in any army), a wannabe afghani
president who happens to be a woman young and full of illusion
about politics with naive questions about western democracy, and
a refugeed poet from Pakistan, was both surrealist and insightful!
Chirac (current french president) was really elected (including
the votes of the opposition that expressed a "none of the
above, least bad" option) to dump his contender : an extreme
right-winged fascist who got lucky to pass the primaries* for
internal competition inside the major parties.
So to throw back in our face (i.e. France, or any western country)
the "near-failure" of our system, when we broke into
their homes to ENFORCE democracy although they are not ready to
get rid of religious fundamentalism, was very clever, and a "nasty"
jab at the "politicaly correct" foreign aid.
if the characters seem feelingless, apathic and fatalist, this
fable is still worth watching for a lesson from one of our mistakes.
to learn more about people before we impose an unfit model that
isnt even working at home.