"Afghan Star" is a TV show modeled on the UK's "Pop Idol." We join the 2008 contest when it's down to nine contestants, and we focus on two women, Setara and Lema, and two men, Hameed and Rafi. We watch the two women in particular: Satara sings with emotion and includes dance in her final performance, an action that puts her life in danger; Lema is traditional, but her very appearance brings death threats. The three finalists are from different tribes, and each makes a plea for Afghan unity. The camera visits families watching the competition, there are comments from people in the street, and we return home with a nervous Setara. In Afghanistan, singing is an expression of freedom. Written by
It's late 2007 and season 3 of Afghan Star, a singing contest on Afghanistan television. It attracts thousands of hopefuls and even three female singers. It would eventually be watched by as many as eleven million viewers.
It starts a little slow. It feels scattered as the movie figures out who the most interesting contestants are. The production is reasonable considering the jerry-rigged nature of Afghan Star. The most compelling story is Setara when she starts dancing after getting voted out. It is the most compelling moment in the movie. The shock of everybody around her is the jolt that elevates this movie. This is a great slice of life documentary.
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