AFGHANISTAN: In the capital, Kabul, which only gets international attention when suicide bombers attack, director Aboozar Amini is a fly on the wall in the lives of ordinary people.

Holdsworth is a writer, journalist and filmmaker.
Published: 2020-03-10
Kabul, City in the Wind

Aboozar Amini (Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Afghanistan)

Aboozar Amini is behind filming, directing and scripting Kabul, City in the Wind . The film is a startling portrait of the lives of low-key people, living in a country whose name reminds us of war and misery. It is a poetic work, in which the protagonists are allowed to keep the word themselves. Amini's intention with the film, which is made with the support of Busan International Film Festival #, is to show that life must be lived anyway, as well as demystifying the rough, beautiful, proud and troubled country for an international audience.

Kabul, City in the Wind lives up to its name, with the dry, dusty wind in it Afghanistan as an ever-present player as the children entertain themselves with beating stones against old and rusty tanks left behind by Soviet Union forces (the tanks are still littering the capital's streets) and the poor bus driver Abbas is struggling to repair his unsteady bus.

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Amini's handheld camera follows the sensational outings of the three sons of a cop, as well as the more troubled existence of Abbas. As bus drivers and ticket drivers talk in between during the lunch break, the conversation revolves around the latest suicide bombing and how many were killed. But the "war on terror" is not in focus, it is hardly mentioned in the film. Only once does it force itself in, hearing the sound of a bombshell in the distance.

Shakespearean high thinking

Through grainy close-ups of its main characters - the images on the canvas are as intense as Rembrandt's brushstrokes - Amini lures their innermost secrets. And in Abbas bus driver, the director finds his perfect philosopher: handsome and uninhibited - a dusty and weathered version of Imran Khan, the cricket player who became Pakistan's prime minister. Abbas is illiterate, but has an almost lyrical understanding of human existence. If you gather together Abbas' heartbeat, you are left with a kind of Shakespeare high thinking: "During my life I have barely had ten days of peace"; "I've been constantly fighting for survival"; "All kinds of jobs - I've sold fruits and sweets, I've been sanding shoes"; “Ever since I started working 30 years ago, my life has been in trouble and…

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