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KANDAHAR aka SAFAR E GHANDEHAR
USA: Avatar Films
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Niloufar Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Sadou Teymouri
Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Countries: France / Iran
Language: Farsi / English
USA: 85 mins
UK: 84 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains some potentially distressing images of hardship
USA Release Date: 14 December 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 16 November 2001 (Limited Release)
Nelofer Pazira plays Nafas, an Afghan-born journalist living in Canada, who fled her country as a teenager. She receives a letter from her sister, who was maimed by a landmine and left behind during the escape, about her intentions to end her life. Despondent over her oppressed and hopeless situation in Taliban-controlled Kandahar, she vows to kill herself during the last eclipse of the century, which happens in a mere 3 days. Desperately racing against time, Nafas sets out on a perilous journey into a land where it's illegal for women to travel alone. Covered by the required and restrictive burqa, her faceless character meets others along the way who reveal a different but real facet of life as experienced by the people of Afghanistan.
These events and characters are inspired by Nelofer's own attempt to enter Afghanistan to save her friend, Dyana, living in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.