Following the international hit The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, The Boy Mir will cover not one year but ten. It will track the cheeky, enthusiastic Mir from a childish eight to a fully grown eighteen-year-old. Over those ten years, it will be a journey into early adulthood in one of the toughest places on earth; a journey that mirrors the current and vitally important story of Afghanistan. Written by
Seventh Art Productions
The tale of a young boy, growing up in post-Taliban Afghanistan. His hopes and dreams vs. the reality of a poor existence.
His father Abdul has a young daughter and makes a deal with Khoshdel, who has only his mother. Both families are poor and decide to make an exchange, Abdul marries Khoshdel's mother, and Khoshdel marries Abdul's daughter. It seems a win-win situation. Only nobody seems to wonder what the women have to say in this matter... Out of the marriage of Abdul and Khoshdel' mother, Mir is born. We meet Mir at the age of seven in the year 2001. A curious boy stares into the camera of the documentary film-maker Phil Grabsky, who realizes Mir is his protagonist.
Mir and his family are living in caves in Bamiyan, near the recently destroyed Buddha statues. In these harsh environments his family is trying to survive and make the best out of it. After a year they move back to their village in the north, where Mir goes to school. Here he has big ambitions and tells us he wants to become a teacher or maybe even a president. But because Khoshdel, Mir's half-brother, needs help farming, Mir has to do his part. And although everyone acknowledges the importance of education, the first priority is having food to survive in the first place. This dilemma grows each year, as Abdul claims he's too weak to work and Mir becomes older and stronger. Through the years Mir plows the country with his donkeys, herds goats and works in the mining, at the cost of skipping school classes. When a classmate asks him where Mir was instead of school, Mir doesn't like to admit he's been working... In the little spare time he finds, Mir plays soccer with other kids on the street. And with the help of Khoshdel, he saves money to get himself a bicycle and a few years later a motorcycle. As Mir grows up, he adjust his goals, realizing his impossibilities in the world. The most important thing for him becomes surviving.
This documentary shows ten years of Mir's hard knock life. From an innocent young happy boy with big dreams Mir changes to a young adult who's scarred through all the hard labor. What the future will bring to him is yet unknown, but it will once again be full of challenges Mir has to overcome. The documentary barely touches the effects of a decade of foreign military forces in Afghanistan. Since we're following a family in a small and remote village, they don't see any benefits right away, the only positive remark is the fact that there's no war anymore. What it does right, is the depiction of the change through the eyes of Mir. And also noteworthy, there are some nice landscape views of the beautiful mountains of Afghanistan. And as the years pass by, the cameras are upgraded and the picture quality is improved significantly.
My score: 7 out of 10. My rating: PG or 6 (NL)
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