6.8/10
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Safar e Ghandehar (2001)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | 1 February 2002 (USA)
After an Afghanistan-born woman who lives in Canada receives a letter from her suicidal sister, she takes a perilous journey through Afghanistan to try to find her.

Director:

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ike Ogut Ike Ogut ... Naghadar
Nelofer Pazira Nelofer Pazira ... Nafas
Hassan Tantai Hassan Tantai ... Tabib Sahid
Sadou Teymouri Sadou Teymouri ... Khak
Hoyatala Hakimi Hoyatala Hakimi ... Hayat
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monica Hankievich Monica Hankievich
Noam Morgensztern Noam Morgensztern ... Three children (voice)
Zahra Shafahi Zahra Shafahi
Safdar Shodjai Safdar Shodjai
Mollazaher Teymouri Mollazaher Teymouri
Edit

Storyline

Nafas is a reporter who was born in Afghanistan, but fled with her family to Canada when she was a child. However, her sister wasn't so lucky; she lost her legs to a land mine while young, and when Nafas and her family left the country, her sister was accidentally left behind. Nafas receives a letter from her sister announcing that she's decided to commit suicide during the final eclipse before the dawn of the 21st century; desperate to spare her sister's life, Nafas makes haste to Afghanistan, where she joins a caravan of refugees who, for a variety of reasons, are returning to the war-torn nation. As Nafas searches for her sister, she soon gets a clear and disturbing portrait of the toll the Taliban regime has taken upon its people. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drug | limp | painkiller | saber | letter | See All (153) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Makhmalbaf Film House

Country:

Iran | France

Language:

Persian | English | Pushto | Polish

Release Date:

1 February 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kandahar See more »

Filming Locations:

Afghanistan Border, Iran

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,122, 16 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,122, 16 December 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was filmed mostly the Iranian desert. Secretly, this movie was also filmed in desert Afganistan, without the Taliban's permission. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sri Satya Sai Suprbhatham
By Mohammad Reza Darvishi
See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating and harrowing
6 May 2002 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

Filmed on the Iran/Afghanistan border, KANDAHAR is a semi-documentary style movie that chronicles the perilous journey undertaken by an expatriate female journalist, Nafas, to reach the city of Kandahar, where she hopes to rescue her sister from committing suicide during an impending eclipse. However, Nafas's odyssey is really little more than a device to lift the veil on the poverty and hardship of life in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Through a series of vignettes, the movie succeeds beautifully in revealing insights that are both fascinating and harrowing. It is almost impossible to imagine a culture so far removed from the relatively comfortable life enjoyed by more ‘civilised' nations. Young boys rock back and forth, reciting the Koran while learning to become Mullahs, pausing only to recite the meaning and purpose of the sabre and semi-automatic machine gun when prompted by their teacher; young girls have lessons in how to resist the temptation to pick up possibly booby-trapped dolls; a doctor treats his female patient by speaking to them via children as they sit either side of a makeshift screen, and conducts his examinations through a small hole in the screen; the threat and consequences of land-mines pervade everybody's life, and year-long waits for prosthetic legs are commonplace, so that prosthetics become a black-market currency.

True, the acting is poor – most of the cast are non-professionals, many never even having seen a moving picture before appearing in this film – but, the purpose of this movie was not to dazzle us with superior acting; it was to open an eye to the hardship endured by both men and women in an oppressive regime, and, at this, it succeeds beautifully.


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