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At Five in the Afternoon (2003)
"Panj é asr" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  20 August 2003 (France)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,009 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 34 critic

Nogreh is a young Afghani woman living with her father and her sister-in-law, Leylomah, whose husband, Akhtar, is missing. Beyond the issue of Akhtar, Leylomah is most concerned with how to... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Agheleh Rezaie ...
Nogreh
Abdolgani Yousefrazi ...
Father
Razi Mohebi ...
Poet
Marzieh Amiri ...
Leylomah
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Storyline

Nogreh is a young Afghani woman living with her father and her sister-in-law, Leylomah, whose husband, Akhtar, is missing. Beyond the issue of Akhtar, Leylomah is most concerned with how to feed her baby. She cannot provide milk for her baby as her own hunger is preventing her from lactating. Nogreh, however, aspires toward a life in a western styled democracy. Although the Taliban are no longer in power in Afghanistan, traditional forces are still active in the country. Nogreh often displays signs of rebellion, such as wearing a pair of white pumps instead of the traditional slipper beneath her burqa. But mostly, Nogreh wants to be educated. Without her father's knowledge, Nogreh is attending a secular girls school. Ultimately, she wants to become President of Afghanistan. With the help of a Pakistani refugee who likes her as a woman, Nogreh tries to understand exactly what forces led to current world leaders being elected, those forces which she wants to emulate. Written by Huggo

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Drama

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Release Date:

20 August 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A las cinco de la tarde  »

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User Reviews

There was hope & despair in Afghanistan at 5 in the afternoon
6 December 2003 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

In "At Five in the Afternoon", we follow the fortunes of a young woman in Afghanistan and her family. Nogreh is caught between two worlds. On the one hand, she attends a school where the teacher encourages girls to become doctors, engineers and even President. At the same time, Nogreh must wait until she steps out of her father's home before she lifts the veil of her burka and trades flat-soled shoes for high heels.

Nogreh is a very idealistic and ambitious young woman who emulates Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan and dreams of being President of her own country some day. Yet she has been kept in a state of childlike naivety and ignorance about politics at home and abroad, due to the teachings of the Koran, Shariah (Islamic law) and the Taliban.

It is exciting to hear the young girls debate the status of women in their country. But the film is also sympathetic and understanding toward the old Afghanistan, symbolized by Nogreh's father. He bewails that "Blasphemy has overrun the city" and the world, as he knew it, has ceased to exist. To add pathos to the situation, he feels he can confide his feelings only to a dumb animal -- his donkey, who "knows nothing but hay".

The film's title echoes a recurring verse from Federico Garcia Lorca's poem, "Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejia", about the goring of a bullfighter. Like Lorca's poem, "At Five in the Afternoon" is clouded over by a somber atmosphere of tragedy, death and despair. Yet the film remains remarkable for its astonishingly hopeful -- and indeed radical and revolutionary -- vision of hope for Afghanistan and indeed all of the Arab world.


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