Belgrade International Film Festival

"Kandahar- The Sun Behind the Moon" by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Makhnalbaf is one of the biggest film directors in Iran. "Kandahar - The Sun Behind The Moon" is the tragic story of life in Afghanistan today. An unbelievable picture of people dying from thirst and hunger, from landmines in the desert, from dirty water. This is the sort of story that makes you realize how your life -- even if there are things missing -- is actually good.

Imagine people, including children, wandering in the desert, running on landmines just strong enough to blow up the legs and leave the unlucky person to die, unable to get out of the desert. And now imagine the UN Force circling in the air, throwing wooden legs all over the place, so unlucky people can grab some and walk to the first tent first-aid station, hoping that they won't be walking so long that they bleed to death.

Imagine children being taught -- as important as knowing the Koran by heart -- to never pick up a brightly colored doll in the desert, or any other toy, because it won't be a toy, it will be bomb that will disable them for life. And imagine the constant Afghani need for more and more wooden legs; on the market, not food and medicine, which are a luxury, but wooden legs that can extend life for a couple days more.

This is the story of a young Canadian journalist, born in Afghanistan, who returns to her native country to look for the younger sister she left behind, who is missing and wounded by a desert landmine. Years after her escape from Afghanistan, the journalist gets a letter from her sister, who says she'll kill herself in the next few days, because her life is becoming unbearable as a disabled Afghani woman. When she arrives, the journalist has only a few days to get to Kandahar and rescue her sister before she kills herself. To get there, she's forced to join the families wandering in the desert to get to Kandahar, experiencing the everyday suffering of the humiliated and limited Afghani women, who face a difficult, unfair position in this fundamentalist Moslim society.

While the children could be considered the most damaged, women in this fundamentalist Moslim, male-centered society, are the next ones jeopardized. Women have no rights whatsoever in a ?culture" that appreciates only men, as the keepers of the "holy book."



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