ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary(AND) Fund

2018 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST Kabul, City in the Wind (aka. Kabul Dystopian Symphony)
Category BIFF Mecenat Fund
Project Kabul, City in the Wind (aka. Kabul Dystopian Symphony)
Director Aboozar AMINI
Country Afghanistan, Japan, Netherlands
Director's Profile Aboozar Amini (1985, Bamiyan Afghanistan) moved to the Netherlands at a young age. He received his B.A. degree at Rietveld Art Academy. His graduation film KabulTehranKabul (2010) won the Wildcard Award of Dutch Film Fund. He completed his M.A. at London Film School with Angelus Novus (2015) which premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and won various awards worldwide. His latest film Where is Kurdistan? (2016) was commissioned by IFFR. His last short film Best Day Ever opened La Quinzaine at Cannes 2018. Aboozar lives and works in Kabul and Amsterdam. His origin plays an important role in his works. He wants is to establish a new-wave Afghan cinema together with young filmmakers there through filmmaking.
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.
Director's Note
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.
2018 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival - Opening / First Appearance Award (Special Jury Award)
2018 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema
2019 CPH:PIX-Copenhagen International Film Festival - NEXT:WAVE Award
2019 Denver International Film Festival
2019 DMZ International Documentary Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
2019 Docville International Documentary Film Festival
2019 Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival
2019 El Gouna Film Festival - Winner of Feature Documentary Competition, NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film
2019 Nancy International Film Festival - Best International Documentary Film
2019 Gdansk Documentary Film Festival - Best Film
2019 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
2019 Hainan International Film Festival
2019 Middle East Now Film Festival - Best Film
2019 Nederlands Film Festival - Best Documentary
2019 Visions du Reel
2019 San Francisco International Film Festival
2019 Valladolid International Film Festival
Still Cut