duminică, 16 aprilie 2017

At Five in the Afternoon, written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Samira Makhmalbaf

At Five in the Afternoon, written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Samira Makhmalbaf

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

This is an exceptional film.

It is not just compelling in that it describes life in one of the toughest and poorest places on earth: Afghanistan.
The story of the heroine, Nogreh is fantastic.

At times, it is surreal.
The destitution is so striking!

And the action, even if it takes place just some years ago, it is well placed in the Middle Ages or even long time after that.
The people in this land are not just religious:

-          They are the Taliban or, from the look of it, closely related in ideological terms

A very powerful scene was the one where a Nogreh is walking down a street, which could be an alley in Hades.
The girl is wearing the “correct attire” for this god forsaken place, but the man is still shocked by something

So he turns his back to the wall, away from – I don’t know…temptation? - And he is murmuring and touching his face:

-          Allah preserve me…help me…or words to that effect

Old men are continually complaining about the morals and the descent in to anarchy, the bad ways of the young!

This happens everywhere.
But still, here it gains ridiculous, gargantuan proportions in that, surrounded as they are by women that are discriminated against.

All females, young girls included wear not just the already “comprehensive” burqa, but the niqab that covers Everything.
Educating girls is not just frowned upon, but outright forbidden by many men, and not just in Afghanistan.

Women in many Muslim places have to Obey their husband or guardian, who has to be a male, even much younger.
It is well known that they cannot drive or go anywhere whit this guardian in Saudi Arabia, but at least there they are rich.

In Afghanistan, people have a terrible time in trying to get food and shelter, never mind luxuries like heat.
Leylomah is Nogreh’s sister-in-law and she has an infant that she cannot feed, because she has no milk.

The lack of food for the mother means she is dry and helpless.
They have with them Nogreh’s father, who is more than conservative and we can consider him an outright reactionary.

He does not want his daughter to be educated.
Without his knowledge nevertheless, Nogreh attends a school for girls.

There are some flabbergasting images, with a large group of women, all dressed with these burqas, but thirsty to learn.
Nogreh wants to become…

-          The future president of Afghanistan!- on a side note, I have a borzoi that I baptized Hamid Karzai, because I liked the name- not the politician who was a jerk

This is the Wonder Woman, better than any Cat Woman or character in the blockbusters with Avengers and Spidermen

-          Imagine what an impossible dream she has
-          The immense power, grit and determination!!

It is utterly unbelievable and impressive
A role model and a fabulous personage

Legendary, “real horror show”- in the words of Alex from The Clockwork Orange, adjectival or simply “medicine” as Little Big Man used to say

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