KANDAHAR (Institutional College) 2008 NR

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(31) IMDb 6.8/10
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A female journalist who fled Afghanistan as a teenager must return to the war-torn country to rescue her sister, who will commit suicide at the time of the next solar eclipse, which is only 3 days away.

Ike Ogut, Nelofer Pazira
1 hour, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, International
Director Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Starring Ike Ogut, Nelofer Pazira
Supporting actors Hassan Tantai, Sadou Teymouri, Hoyatala Hakimi, Monica Hankievich, Noam Morgensztern, Zahra Shafahi, Safdar Shodjai, Mollazaher Teymouri
Studio CreateSpace
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Philippe Ranger on November 18, 2001
I can't vouch the following is how Kandahar's author, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, would describe his film. I can't even say whether, living in Iran, Makhmalbaf feels free to say what he means, otherwise than through film. However, he has put up a long background document on Afghanistan at [...]
What I saw is a semi-documentary set in a desertic area of Afghanistan, built of long sequences each of which is very telling, admirably constructed and visually beautiful. In fact, the film has been criticized for its beauty. The topic about which the images are so telling, is what Afghan society (which is essentially rural) has been reduced to by twenty years of war, and especially the state of the female half of that society.
The sequences are linked together by the fictional component. A 21-year old Afghan refugee from Ottawa, Canada, working as a journalist, wants to reach her sister in Kandahar before she commits suicide on the eclipse. The sister told her about her plan in a letter sent three months before, but events have left our protagonist on the Iranian border three days before the eclipse. The sequences occur as she progresses towards Kandahar. The sister has never left Afghanistan because on the way out with the rest of the family, 15 years before, she stepped on a mine and lost her legs. Her father remained with her, but he is now dead.
The Canadian sister will never reach Kandahar. As the film ends, she has been caught by the Taliban, to no one's surprise. I surmise she will either be taken up as booty by a commander, for a Xth wife or concubine, or will be raped by soldiers, as booty again, and left to fend as a prostitute until caught again and executed. She may well live no longer than her sister.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 28, 2002
This Iranian film was made before the horrible events of 9/11 etched the name of Kandahar into our consciousness. This film is NOT a documentary. It is a fictionalized story of an Afghan woman, Nafas, a Canadian journalist, who returns to Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban to search for her sister.
Filmed in Iran, it nevertheless gives us a feel for the bleak sun-dried landscape of Afghanistan. Here, the woman wear burkas, they are not allowed to go to school, and they must constantly look out for land mines. During the course of the film Nafas has disguises herself as a fourth wife of a man returning to Afghanistan from Iran, is helped by a young boy who has to eke out a living the best way he can after being thrown out of a religious school, sickens and meets a doctor who speaks English and joins a one-armed man and a group of women on their way to a wedding in Kandahar.
There is horror and oppression everywhere, not just for the women, but also for everyone under Taliban rule. Saddest of all are the victims of the land mines. There are several scenes in a Red Cross station about this, with the dozens of one-legged men who are in constant pain and who wait for the helicopters to drop prosthetic legs from the sky.
Nelofer Pazura, a real-life Canadian journalist who was born in Kabul and therefore speaks both Parsi and English, plays the part of Nafas. She is beautiful with wide sad blue eyes and she plays this role as if in a dream, her face expressionless whenever she lifts her burka. The film is upsetting and not for everyone and some of the images will haunt me for a long time. I do recommend it. But don't expect to leave the theater smiling.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. T. A. Oliveira on January 2, 2002
When "Kandahar" was shown in Cannes in May/01, it was another film from an exotique country with exotique culture and traditions. Now, after September 11th, it all comes down to be a movie about a place where everybody is watching closely. I have to admit that I was most interested in this movie because it takes palce in that region, but after watching it, I changed my opinion.
It is the story of an Afghan journalist, Nafas,-- who now lives in Canada - and receives a letter from her sister telling she'll commit suicide during the last eclipse of the XX Century. Then Nafas decides to fly back to her country in order to try to convince her sister not to kill herself. But before reaching her, the journalist has much more trouble in arriving in Kandahar. The film shows her journey and all people she meets through it and the problems she runs up against when in the way to Kandahar . In the background we see many costumes of this region and how living with terrosrism in everyday life is. And the beauty of this exotique land - I have to bring up that the film opens with an extremely beautiful image of an eclipse.
I usually have some difficult in undersand Iranian films at the first time I see them. Maybe it's because it's a very different culture with different values, but it doesn't mean I don't like them. This "Kandahar" was an exception. I really appreciated very much only watching it once -- I'll probably watch it again soon. You may feel amazed with the settings and the lighting, but what counts more here is the reality of these people. It's touching seeing children been taught no to touch dolls and teddy bears the find on the floor because these toys may carry mine and seriously hurt these children. Moreover, the film made take a different look into my life itself.
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