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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hugely poweful piece of cinema., 27 Nov 2009
By 
A. W. Rosiak (North London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Afghan Star [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing cinema, makes you think, 26 Jun 2010
By 
Mike L (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Afghan Star [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Somebody in Afghanistan had an idea: how about a TV talent show where the viewers get to vote for the singers by SMS? And so is born "Afghan Star". The show is hugely popular and it does more for democracy than any amount of politicking - as one singer says, "My music is my politics". The contestants come from different ethnic groups but there is no disharmony between them. They agree on everything - even that young Setara goes too far by dancing on stage.

The film sets all this in the context of present-day Afghanistan, showing us how the contest is followed by ordinary Afghans all over the country, from shepherds to shopkeepers. It's rivetting stuff, and hopefully will leave us Westerners a little more grateful for the freedoms we take for granted
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two thumbs up for the movie, two thumbs down for Afghanistan, 17 May 2010
By 
N. Ramsey (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Afghan Star [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I was very excited to be able to order this DVD from amazon.uk as I was unable to obtain it in North America. What an eye opener! The movie details the real life adventures of the contestants of Afghan Star, the Afghan version of American Idol. All hell breaks lose when one of the women contestants breaks into a tiny little dance and lets a bit of her hair show. The film makers do not judge the Afghan people, including the men interviewed in the street who suggest she should be put to death for her actions. They leave that to the viewer. And while perhaps we should not judge the values of other people, it's hard not to feel for a seemingly normal young woman who wants to express herself though music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars really good film, 16 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Afghan Star [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
to get another, and really fascinating but also disturbing view on afghan culture, this documentary film is really really precious, I can deeply recommend it.
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Afghan Star [DVD] [2008]
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