12 user 43 critic

Afghan Star (2009)

Unrated | | Documentary, Music | 16 January 2009 (USA)
2:44 | Trailer

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A look at how contestants on the a musical contest program "Pop Idol" in Afghanistan risk their lives to appear on the show.


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Credited cast:
Habib Amiri ...
Setara Hussainzada ...
Rafi Naabzada ...
Lima Sahar ...
Herself (as Lema Sahar)
Hameed Sakhizada ...
Massoud Sanjer ...
Daoud Sediqi ...
Tahir Shaqi ...
Fazl Hadi Shinwari ...


"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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Music




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Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Afgán megasztár  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,671, 28 June 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$101,543, 18 October 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

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Did You Know?


United Kingdom's official submission to 82nd Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2010. See more »


Man in the street: [after Setara adds dance moves to her song] She should be killed.
See more »


References Afghan Star (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Story
28 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

I have never seen American Idol, nor am I a fan of that sort of entertainment. Afghan Star is a Middle Eastern version of that program, with the difference being that in a Muslim culture, the contestants are in a real life and death struggle every day between the secularists and the devout. One of the female singers loses her scarf while singing, and as a result receives threats from those who wish to kill her.

Setara is the first one voted off and besides the constant harassment from religious fanatics, she is evicted from her apartment, and puts her parent's in danger when she attempts to move back in with them.

Other singers compete to become the Afghan Star, and this should be seen by everyone to expose the narrow mindedness of theology. Thank God that here in America, we have the separation of church and state and we are free to worship any deity of our choice. The documentary proves why it is the right decision.

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