Kandahar

Kandahar

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Niloufar Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Sadou Teymouri

Cast: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Niloufar Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Sadou Teymouri

     
 

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This acclaimed drama about life in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban has been given a simple but strong presentation on DVD. Kandahar has been given a letterboxed transfer in its original widescreen aspect ratio, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. The disc also includes optional subtitles in both English and Farsi, the two

Overview

This acclaimed drama about life in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban has been given a simple but strong presentation on DVD. Kandahar has been given a letterboxed transfer in its original widescreen aspect ratio, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. The disc also includes optional subtitles in both English and Farsi, the two languages used onscreen. The only bonus feature included is the film's original theatrical trailer, but the improved visual and audio quality makes it a better value for money over the film's VHS release.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
In this muted, surreal road-trip film by Iranian director Moshen Makhmalbaf, Afghanistan is laid bare as the tortured product of superpower occupation, fundamentalist oppression, and tribal warfare. Made prior to September 11, 2001, Kandahar follows the journey of an Afghan journalist living in Canada (Nelofer Pazira) as she travels into Afghanistan to save her sister, who has written that she will commit suicide during the last solar eclipse of the 20th century. The journalist then experiences firsthand the oppression of women by the Taliban, which is essentially what has driven her sister to the point of suicide. This strife is no more powerfully illustrated than in scenes with a doctor who can examine female patients only through a tiny hole in a cloth partition, which, like the mesh in the burka that allows the veiled Afghan women to see, becomes a powerful recurring metaphor for prison bars. Like Makhmalbaf's other films, Kandahar is marked by unusual blends of fact and fiction, reality and dramatization. Pazira herself is an Afghan who lives in Canada and contacted Makhmalbaf to help her enter Afghanistan to help a suicidal friend.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Completed just months before the United States' military involvement in Afghanistan, Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Mahkmalbaf's neo-realist, political road movie took on added resonance once the Western world, for unarguably selfish reasons, took an interest in the lawless region. But even after the Taliban's treatment of women ceased to be a media issue du jour, Kandahar remains a potent, visceral, first-person look at life within the borders of an oppressive regime. All the more heartbreaking because the movie was based on her own experiences, Niloufar Pazira turns in a measured, inquiring performance; she's as much a spectator as the audience, and that quality goes a long way in smoothing over the film's rough spots. Indeed, Kandahar is understandably marked by some amateurish acting and a rough technical quality reminiscent of older European films (with their jagged cuts and off-sync dubbing). But Mahkmalbaf's sense of poetry -- evident in the film's imagistic prologue, its heartbreaking, bizarre prosthetic-leg air drop sequence, and its shattering final shot -- is strong enough to shine through any budgetary limitations.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2003
UPC:
0717119853341
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG
Source:
New Yorker Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:25:00

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer ; International trailer ; Commentary track by Nelofer Pazira; "Lifting the Veil" a Documentary about the film ; Cast and director bios; Photo gallery

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Title Sequence [5:59]
2. Near the Border [4:05]
3. On the Road [7:08]
4. Chanting [5:47]
5. Deserted [8:56]
6. Seeing a Doctor [11:20]
7. Secret Revealed [4:17]
8. The Red Cross [7:06]
9. Artificial Beauty [6:24]
10. A Friendly Stranger [13:39]
11. Security Check Point [4:30]
12. Closing Credits

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