Asian Cinema Fund 2018
2018 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund
|Project||Kabul Dystopian Symphony|
Afshin, a 12-year old boy, and his younger brother Benjamin live with their family at the hillside of the Chil Dokhtaran mountains, close to the first stop of the city bus. Growing up next to the city full of bombs and sirens, violence has become a part of their innocence, and the graveyard their playground. When the father leaves for another country, an end comes to the childhood of Afshin. Abbas is a bus driver with a double personality, a loving father and a ruthless driver, who blows all the time. The lengthy process of his multiple attempts to fix his broken bus reveals his way of living between the truth and lies. Their stories will intermingle with the city scenes, passengers, etc. on the bus ride, to complete the symphonic portrait of the city. Without showing shocking scenes, the film portrays the soul of Kabul that is in agony.
Kabul is in non-stoppable climax of bombing where overdose of drugs offer people the only escape from the never-ending wars and unknown future. Since Western powers have entered Afghanistan in 2001, films commissioned by NGOs created a stereotype of Afghanistan that is far from its true face. Back in Kabul after living in the West for 20 years, I realize many unsolvable conflicts that come from the mentality of Afghan society itself. In this film, I do not show any shocking events; rather I present meaningful details of the lives, whose pains are muted in bombs and overdosed opium. Afshin (12) is doomed to be born in this broken city, like Edmund in Germany, Year Zero (1948). He has no clue what is going on around him while violence is becoming part of his innocence. What made me escape Kabul 20 years ago is what Afshin still has to deal with today.