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Aug 6, 2003


Kandahar is a city in Afganistan, a city that always found itself at historic cross roads, has the largest airport in Central Asia (or the remains of it, now) and it is the name of Mohsen Makhmalbaf's movie of one woman's journey to rescue another from under the oppressive rule of Taliban. It is shot in documentary style and is the real life episode in the life of the lead actress Nelofar Piraza. She made the same journey as depicted in the movie and later apporached Makhmalbaf to convert it into a movie.

The movie beautifuly portrays the life in Afganistan, the oppressed and shackled lives of their women, the generations of half limbed men (legs lost by stepping on mines) searching the skies for Red Cross helicopters that drop off artificial limbs and the madrassa(the Islamic school) where only thing they teach in addition to Quran is what an AK47 is and its uses. Hunger, strife and war is rampant in a country the world has chose to ignore, maybe because it didn't have any resources worth mention or value. The characters in the movie are well chosen and very natural, there is the Afgan boy who befriends the heroine at the start of the journey, the Afican-American muslim man who is in Afganistan in search of God, but ends up treating poor Afganis without having any proper medical degree, the persistant, sly villager who agrees to become the guide in the final lap of the journey towards Kandahar, everyone of them fits right into their roles. Kandahar makes you realise that how lucky you are, it could have worse, much worse, had you been an Afgan woman.