IMDb > Kandahar (2001)
Safar e Ghandehar
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Kandahar (2001) More at IMDbPro »Safar e Ghandehar (original title)

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Kandahar -- A female journalist who fled Afghanistan as a teenager must return to the war-torn country to rescue her sister, who will commit suicide at the time of the next solar eclipse, which is only 3 days away.


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6.8/10   5,529 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Kandahar on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 February 2002 (USA) See more »
After an Afghanistan-born woman who lives in Canada receives a letter from her suicidal sister, she takes a perilous journey through Afghanistan to try to find her. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
As a film it is average but as an insight into life in the Taleban's Afghanistan it is worth seeing See more (56 total) »


  (in credits order)
Ike Ogut ... Naghadar

Nelofer Pazira ... Nafas
Hassan Tantai ... Tabib Sahid
Sadou Teymouri ... Khak
Hoyatala Hakimi ... Hayat
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monica Hankievich
Noam Morgensztern ... Three children (voice)
Zahra Shafahi
Safdar Shodjai
Mollazaher Teymouri

Directed by
Mohsen Makhmalbaf 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf 

Produced by
Mohsen Makhmalbaf .... producer
Original Music by
Mohammad Reza Darvishi  (as M.R. Darvishi)
Cinematography by
Ebrahim Ghafori 
Film Editing by
Mohsen Makhmalbaf 
Art Direction by
Akbar Meshkini 
Production Management
Siamak Alagheband .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb .... assistant director
Kaveh Moinfar-Tabinghobi .... assistant director
Art Department
Akbar Meshkini .... set designer
Sound Department
Faroukh Fadace .... sound
Hussein Mahdavi .... sound designer
Hussein Mahdavi .... sound effects editor
Behroz Shahamat .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Hossein Amiri .... assistant camera
Other crew
Phil Hall .... film publicist

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Safar e Ghandehar" - Iran (original title)
"The Sun Behind the Moon" - International (English title)
See more »
85 min | USA:81 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This movie was filmed mostly the Iranian desert. Secretly, this movie was also filmed in desert Afganistan, without the Taliban's permission.See more »
Movie Connections:
Sri Satya Sai SuprbhathamSee more »


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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
As a film it is average but as an insight into life in the Taleban's Afghanistan it is worth seeing, 23 August 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Nafas is an Afghan refugee in Canada, separated from what remains of her family. When she receives a letter from her sister in Kandahar saying that she intends to kill herself at the next eclipse, Nafas sets out to enter Afghanistan and find her sister in order to rescue her. Joining a family traveling across the desert she quickly remembers why she fled the country in the first place as her status as a woman is as dangerous as the unseen landmines as she tries to find her sister before time runs out.

I knew little about this film prior to watching it apart from that it was popular mostly due to its unfortunate relevance. Watching it from the start to the end I must admit that, as a film or a story it was not as good as some viewers have said. The narrative is simplistic and seems to alter the passing of time to suit itself, while major holes in plotting are rather annoying if that is what you are focusing on. The film also struggles in terms of characters, with Nafas being rather bland and hard to care for, her sister being unseen and not in any more danger than those we do see (ie minimising our passion for the quest) and even the noble Talib Sahid came across as rather an unlikely character to stumble upon.

However, I still consider this to be a film worth seeing even after all that. Why? Well, simply because of the view it gives us of Afghanistan – a view that not even the British media did a good job of giving us when the conflict started. I watched this thinking 'this is the country we have been bombing for several years now?' and, while I knew it was hardly the most technologically advanced country, it doesn't really hit home until you see it and, with US news coverage of this side of the country being limited to hyped-up soldiers then this film should be seen to help balance it all out. So Nafas' journey is little more than an excuse to show many aspects of the country within a sort of story and, as that, it is worth seeing – it is hard not to feel for the people as you see the treatment of women, the poor facilities, the horrors of landmines and so on.

True to the weakness of the plot, the ending just sort of 'happens' and those who had been holding to the hope of the vague narrative becoming stronger will also be let down. This is not a film to come to for a story or a strong plot because in these areas it is pretty weak and not very good as a film as you'd expect one to be. However it provides insight into a country that we have all heard a lot about over the past few years and, for that and that alone, it is valuable and worth seeing if you can get the chance.

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