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What We Left Unfinishe

Art and politics, freedom of speech, and what happens when the truth becomes a bargaining chip.

Overview

Genre
Arts, History, Adventure, Cultural History, and Politics
Synopsis

The incredible and mostly true story of five unfinished feature films from the Communist era in Afghanistan (1978-1991) – when films were weapons, filmmakers became targets, and the dreams of constantly shifting political regimes merged with the stories told onscreen. It is also a tribute to a tight-knit group of Afghan filmmakers who loved cinema enough to risk their lives for art. Despite government interference, censorship boards, scarce resources, armed opposition, and near-constant threats of arrest and even death, they made films that were subversive and, in the filmmakers’ opinions, always “true” to life. All five films – THE APRIL REVOLUTION (1978), DOWNFALL (1987), THE BLACK DIAMOND (1989), WRONG WAY (1990), and AGENT (1991) – completed principal photography before being canceled by the state or abandoned by the filmmakers. Never edited, they escaped the final censors’ cut. And while all five films are fictional, they each record some aspect of the period.

Stage
finished
Running time
71 minutes

Credits

  • Alysa Nahmias ... Executive Producer
  • Mariam Ghani ... Director, Producer
  • Ian Olds ... Editor

Production Details

Prod. Co.
Indexical Films in association with AJNA Films
Country
United States
Locations
Afghanistan

Distribution Details

Release year
2019
Festivals
Berlinale, SFFILM, DOC NYC, Ann Arbor
Distribution
Distributed by Dekanalog (U.S. theatrical), Criterion Collection (streaming), Good Docs (educational), and Arsenal (Europe)
Subtitles
English

Photos

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