It’s Iranian Month here – 2005 month flopped, and the 1920’s are just on break. This movie has been on my shelf for four years still in its cellophane, so it was my first pick.
Noqreh (above) lives in the ruins of Afghanistan immediately post-war in 2002 with her father, her brother’s wife, and the wife’s baby. She’s supposedly attending religious school, but secretly changes clothes and attends a progressive regular school when she’s out of sight of her very traditional muslim father. There’s trouble finding water, finding work, and keeping the baby healthy, then busloads of refugees move into the ruins so our crew moves into a crashed airplane.
Meanwhile, Noqreh is being courted by a poet (Razi Mohebi, above on the bike, assistant director of this film and Osama) and having discussions with everyone she sees (including, memorably, a French soldier) about the female president of Pakistan, presidential speeches, and ways that she herself could become president of Afghanistan. The refugees follow her family to the airplane, so they move into an abandoned palace, the most spectacular of their picturesque homes, though it has an oppressive air about it. Then the tragedy starts flying – the father decides they can’t live in such a godless city anymore, so they set off into the desert. On the way, he hears word that his son, the baby’s father has died from a landmine. Then in the desert they encounter a lost soul, a man who does not know where to go, who talks as the father buries the baby who has died from illness. It sounds depressing, and at the end it really is, but it’s a powerfully good movie – beautiful and interesting and moving, and likely shot in actual crashed planes and abandoned palaces while Afghanistan was still a war hotspot.
With writing, editing and production assistance from her father Mohsen and very nice cinematography from Ebrahim Ghafori. Would love to see her other movies.