This weekend there are two opportunities in London to see Nagieb Khaja's film, My Afghanistan - Life in the Forbidden Zone. On view as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton (Saturday) and at the Curzon Soho (Sunday), the film is based on filmclips shot by Afghan citizens in and around LashKar Gah in Helmand.
Najieb is a Danish filmmaker of Afghan origin, but even he was unable to travel far from the town. Instead he gave people mobile phones equipped with cameras and asked them to film their daily lives.
Thus we get the story of Hakl Sahab as he drives in his brakeless, 70-year-old jeep; we hear hairstyling tips from Jurna Gulm; watch farmer and widower Abdul Mohammed raise his four children alone, and so on.
Most of the films that come out of Afghanistan are told from Westerners' viewpoints, often the military. This film is different. Go and see it.
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