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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Incredible film

9/10
Author: Squirrel-5 from Philadelphia suburbs
11 January 2013

I saw a screening of this film near the director's hometown late last month and it is one of the best films I've seen this year. The director, Sam French gave an introduction and a Q&A afterwards. I'm watching it again now on the DVD I bought at the screening.

The director, his siblings and his mother have been family friends for almost 30 years which really makes this special for me. His mother was my art teacher in elementary school and attended my old church.

The film includes some excellent scenery and one of the few movies I know of that portrays Afghans in a positive light. I hope that the publicity from the nomination will encourage more people to see this film.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The kids are amazing actors in this one...

7/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
3 February 2013

I just got back from seeing the five Oscar-nominated live action shorts and was pleasantly surprised. After seeing a mediocre batch of animated shorts yesterday, I was so happy to see that the live action films are among the very best I've ever seen nominated.

This is the story of two boys--Rafi and Ahmad. Ahmad is an orphan and wanders the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. Rafi is the son of a grouchy blacksmith. Both boys like to spend time together but Rafi's father often warns him to avoid the homeless boy. Both boys have dreams of growing up to become Buzkashi players--an odd game played on horseback where players rising horses try to drag a goat carcass to a circle while the other players try to stop him. Where this story goes ends up being very tragic and touching, but also vaguely unsatisfying simply because the other nominees are so strong. The film's strengths are its amazing location shooting (it's like a different planet), AMAZING child actors and nice cinematography. But, as I said, when the film ended I was left a bit flat. But, the filmmakers show amazing talent and I look forward to more of their work.

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Mediocre Oscar bait

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
14 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Buzkashi Boys" is a 2012 Academy-Award nominated film that runs for slightly under half an hour. The writer and director is Sam French here and boy is this some Oscar bait. Kids as main actors, tragedy happens to one of them, set in Afghanistan. It really doesn't go more than that. Glad to see that it "only" got nominated, even if the actual winner is not a better film either. But back to this one here: If you take a closer look, it really has not very much to offer that stays in the mind and the Academy must have realized this as well. Stuff like this has been done a hundred times, many times better. I did not thing this was a sincere movie in terms of drama or emotion and it was also somewhat predictable, overall a disappointing watch. I do not recommend checking this one out. Thumbs down and I really hope French can give his works in the future a more authentic touch.

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