- Contemporary Issues, Current Affairs, Foreign Worlds, Politics, and History
Angels Are Made of Light follows students and teachers at a school in an old Kabul neighborhood slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war.
- Show treatment
Angels Are Made of Light traces the lives of students and teachers at a small school in Kabul, Afghanistan, over
three years. Through the school we are introduced to people in the neighborhood.
Our first narrator is Sohrab, a boy who hopes his love of books will lead to a life of the mind, not manual labor. Sohrab’s older brother, Rostam, wants to follow his father, but is torn about his future.
Their younger brother, Yaldash, feels trapped in his boss’ metal workshop, and dreams of the luxury of study. Their father fears a return of war to the city, and their mother, teacher Fazula, reflects on the changing nature of youth in Afghanistan.
As the film progresses, the scope broadens to include characters like Nik Mohammed, a teacher in his sixties whose memories - illustrated with archival sequences - open a window into Afghanistan’s past and politics.
Nabiullah, a new boy in the neighborhood, struggles to keep his father’s hot food stand from bankruptcy and imagines a future Afghanistan with neither Americans nor Taliban.
Moqades, a young religion teacher, espouses non-violence and decries factionalism and corruption among the powerful. Teacher Hasiba sees herself in her young students, like the spirited Sita.
Rogul, an elderly cleaning woman in the school, recalls her youth under the Soviets and the slide into civil war that made her a refugee, and looks on nervously as tribal factions again compete for power.
A presidential election passes and the history of the country enters a new stage. But what does the future hold for the people of Afghanistan?
- Running time
- 117 minutes
- Prod. Co.
- United States
- Years of Production
- Kabul, Afghanistan
- Prod. Partners
- Final Cut For Real, Louverture Films, Piraya Film
- Release year
- Telluride, TIFF, AFI, NYFF, IDFA
- Dari, Pashto, Arabic, English
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