6.8/10
6,161
56 user 101 critic

The Sun Behind the Moon (2001)

Safar e Ghandehar (original title)
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

Tabib Sahid is played by Hassan Tantai AKA David Belfield and is under indictment in the United States for the murder of Iranian Diplomat Ali Akbar Tabatabai in 1980. 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

 
Like many films from Muslim countries, "Kandahar" is vitally concerned with female emancipation…
7 December 2008 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The film's great success with audiences was in part due to the timing of its release, at a moment when Afghanistan had been catapulted into the headlines by the activities of the Taliban and the attacks of September 11, 2001…

But the motion picture, directed by one of Iran's most prominent film artists, is much more than a story pulled out from the headlines… It stars Nelofer Pazira, a female journalist, based in Canada, playing Nafas, who is trying to get into Afghanistan to reach her sister who lives in Kandahar… Nafas's sister is threatening suicide because of the intolerable oppression of women by the Taliban…

In the course of her long and dangerous journey, Nafas encounters a mixed array of Afghan people, many of them refugees… An old man agrees to take her into the country disguised as his fourth wife… Later she acquires a young boy, Khak (Sadou Teymouri), as her guide after he has been expelled from a religious school… On the way she meets Tabib Sahid, an African-American who had come to fight the Soviets but who is now practicing medicine…

"Kandahar" mixes documentary authenticity with extraordinary moments of visual strangeness ad beauty… The Burka is an ever-present symbol of women's subjugation, yet underneath women wear varnished nails and lipstick, and their brightly-colored robes affirm their individuality… The film placed the suffering of the Afghan people, particularly the women, on an international stage…


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