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At Five In The Afternoon [DVD] [2004]

9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Agheleh Rezaie, Abdolgani Yousefrazi, Razi Mohebi, Marzieh Amiri
  • Directors: Samira Makhmalbaf
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Aug. 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002LU9AI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,294 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Winner of the Cannes film festival Jury Prize in 2003, this film, directed by Samira Makhmalbaf (daughter of Mohsen Makhmalbaf, creator of the highly-acclaimed film 'Kandahar'), was the first foreign film to be made in Kabul, Afghanistan after the Taliban were overthrown. Centred around the story of Noqreh, a progressive young woman who dreams of growing up to be the President of the Republic despite her oppressive home life and a strained relationship with her bigoted but loving father, the film portrays the daily struggles of Afghan women in post-Taliban Afghanistan with tenderness and hope against a tragic background of death and despair.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By You caught me procrastinating again on 1 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD
It's hard to dispute that Iranian filmmakers - most importantly the Makhmalbaf family - are leading the way with realist cinema. In Blackboards, Samira followed a group of Kurdish teachers made refugees by the chemical bombing of Halabcheh as they stumbled around the mountainous Iran/Iraq border trying to sell English lessons to a population whose children are mostly smugglers' mules. Here she builds on her father's work, Kandahar, which first visited post-war Afghanistan with a story of woman's return from Canadian exile to save her suicidal sister.
In At Five in the Afternoon, Makhmalbaf's Afghanistan could not be more foreign or more bleak, yet her sympathetic portrayals - especially of men who pray at the sight of a woman's face - ensure there's no judgement. Instead, Nogreh's going against her father to become an educated woman plays out naturally, like teen rebellion.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By technoguy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
Makhmalbaf the daughter of Monsen(Kandahar) has been moved by the plight of Afghanistan's repressed women post the fall of the Taliban regime.She has also been inspired by the primitive conditions of no electricity or running water and bombed ruins.Her heroine,Nogreh,is keen to take advantage of new freedoms and opportunities afforded to women.She often disobeys her father's wishes by going to the secular school where she debates the need for a woman to be elected as President. The debates are very keen amongst the students.Mina,another who wishes to become President, gets killed by a roadside bomb.Nogreh's brother is missing,(also Leylosha's husband).Nogreh makes friends with a young poet who recites Lorca's `At 5 in the afternoon' and also gets her information about Karzai's pre-election speech.She is obsessed by Benazhir Bhutto and Indira Ghandi,powerful women figures.Her father is so fundamentalist he rails against the blasphemy of Kabul,where women go around with their faces unveiled.Her white high-heeled shoes are a symbol of her aspirations and new femininity.Her father drives a horse and cart to get them around and they are continually on the move from an overcrowded house in Kabul(too much noise) to the hulk of an aircraft,then onto the ruins of a government building.Her father talks to his horse who `doesn't understand...you only want hay'-the blasphemy and ruins. There is a comic episode where Nogreh questions a French soldier.She asks him why he voted for Chirac and he says he can't say that,he doesn't interfere in politics! The poet wants her to run a poster campaign for school election and gets her photographed by a photographer who mocks her ambitions,when she should be at home as a mother.The poet tells her to practice her speeches in front of cattle and sheep.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ben VINE VOICE on 24 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just a beautiful slab of Iranian cinema.

Nogreh, a young women in post-Taliban Afghanistan battles against harsh living conditions and the intolerance of her father to gain an education and a future for herself. She even dreams of being the first woman president one day. Samira Makhmalbaf's third film is her best: at once neo-realist and allegorical, making the most of the harsh and beautiful landscape to present a 'borderless' vision of the victory of hope over despair.
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Format: DVD
If you like films that are slow-paced and artistically shot then I highly recommend At Five In The Afternoon. A great deal of thought has obviously gone into the framing of many of the scenes e.g. the bathing of the baby with the fire in the background and shots featuring the derelict palace. The film also offers a very thoughtful and intriguing insight into the hardships suffered by the people of Afghanistan. It is set just after the fall of the Taliban and there is anticipation and hope within the female population that increased educational opportunities etc. will lead to a fairer society, one in which there might even be an elected female leader. However, old ways and attitudes die hard and the film becomes less about the plight of women and more about the struggle for basic survival endured by the population in general. Life is depicted as harsh and fragile, and it is this gritty realism which, for me, makes this a film to be taken seriously. If you like films with conventional narratives and happy endings then it's probably best to steer clear of this one. Overall I'd say it offers a very interesting 'slice of life' and, in my view, deserves repeated viewings - pity it can't be bought for less than £20 at the moment on Amazon though!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. C. Reynell on 11 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the remarkable series of films which have made Iranian cinema the best in the world. After the fall of the Taliban Nogreh participates in the new female education movement full of hope and even aspiring to the presidency of Afghanistan. But male chauvinism, the massive influx of refugees from Pakistan and, above all, sheer grinding poverty reduce her dreams to ashes. Pathetically her symbols of emancipation, a pair of high-heeled shoes and a parasol, are abandoned. The pace is slow by Western standards, but some of the shots are composed with the care and skill of an Eisenstein.
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