English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Cannes Award winner Shahrbanoo Sadat says Afghanistan situation has changed her cinema forever!

Shahrbanoo Sadat, the Afghani director looks to leave the country and make historical films (Pic Courtesy cineuropa.org)

Even though she is stuck in Afghanistan and waiting to leave like thousands others, after the Taliban takeover of the country following the US withdrawal, well-known Afghan filmmaker, Shahrbanoo Sadat, still has the creative juices working overtime!

Seized about leaving the country safely, she noted that the current situation has had a massive impact on her filmmaking. In an interaction with hollywoodreporter.com she remarked: “If I survive this and I have the chance to make more films, my cinema will have changed forever.”

Giving reasons for this change, she added: “I feel like I’m observing, I’m watching injustice and something really horrible, and I just need to save it in my body, remember it and put it in films later, to share it with the world. If I survive this, I will make films about what happened.”

That would be a definite shift from her earlier works which zoomed on everyday and ordinary life of Afghanis, giving the world a glimpse into the country beyond the all too familiar violence, strife and geo-politics.

This time on, Sadat stated that “thinking differently”, she intends to make historical films. The aim is to make people of Afghanistan know how their country reached where it is today. Significantly, she wants to highlight the role other countries have played in this.

Also read: Fear, anguish and a sense of betrayal looms over artists of Afghanistan

She told the media: “I think it’s important for us in Afghanistan to know at least the history of the last 100 years because nobody here is reading books. You can make films and learn from the past, and we can understand our position in Afghanistan and other countries [involved in] Afghanistan. Knowing history is our one hope for Afghanistan in the future.”

Sadat is one of the few filmmakers who arrived with a bang as her debut film Wolf And Sheep fetched her Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight in 2016, which she ably followed up with The Orphanage. The former is the story of a village, very much like the one she grew up in while the latter follows the life of a 15-year-old boy in Kabul.

Sharing the difficulties she faces in flying out, just like thousands others, she said: “The problem is actually how to get to the airport and how to find the plane. The first checkpoint at the very first entry of the airport is under the control of the Taliban. And there are so many checkpoints on the way to the airport.”

She awaits a letter specifying the complete and exact details of her departure to be able to go through the checkpoints.

On the dramatic fall-down of the Government following the pull out by the US forces, she observed: “It’s a great shock — we didn’t expect this to happen so soon.”

Also read: Young Afghan pianist Arson Fahim says musicians are afraid of Taliban and hiding instruments

She added that she thought it would take “at least one month” before the Taliban reached Kabul. Even though forewarned about this a day before Taliban’s arrival she didn’t heed to it and in fact rejected an offer to fly her out as it did not include her family.

Like a true artist, she felt that despite her rage, she looks to channelise her energy. “I suppose if there’s one good thing from all this mess, it’s the energy created from the anger because people can do things. I can make films, others can write, other people can organize. There’s so much of this energy and we have to do something with it.”

However, right now she needs flight information and leave. “At the moment the most important thing is to get to the airport and to get out.”

Hope she does and that too soon!