As someone who tends to get all my news from the television and newspapers, my view of afghanistan focussed on the war currently being raged there. Not really have i stopped to think of the people there, and the lives they have.
I stumbled across this film late one night on More4. Unable to sleep, i wanted something to help me drift off. As it was, I was up until 3am, rivetted.
The film looks at the countrywide smash hit TV programme, Afghan Star. A sort of low budget 'x factor', it creates huge excitement among the Afghan people, and seems to provide a welcome distraction (in some small way, at least) to the ongoing conflicts there.
Focussing on three contestants, we go behind the scenes of their lives, their families and their feelings about being part of the competition. It also must be said, all three come from different religious backgrounds, which is touched upon during the film, but doesnt becoming an overwhelming subject (which i think would have been depressingly easy to do).
The character that interests me is Setara. In a competition dominated by males, she emerges as a true star throughout the film. She is a feisty character, which i certainly wasnt expecting given the previous (naive) thoughts I had about women in the country. Whilst not wanting to ruin it for the viewer, her story, and its conclusion is shock, moving and infuriating.
A beautifully shot film, paced very well, this truly is one of the best documentary films I have been fortunate enough to see, one that I so easily could have missed. I cant praise it enough.