6.9/10
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2 user 29 critic

Nothingwood (2017)

A movie about an Afghan movie maker.

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Qurban Ali ... Himself (as Qurban Ali Afzali)
Salim Shaheen ... Himself
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Storyline

A movie about an Afghan movie maker.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Release Date:

14 June 2017 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Prince of Nothingwood  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Wonderful documentary reveals aspects of Afghan life we never suspected

French radio journalist Sonia Kronlund spent several weeks in Afghanistan following charismatic film maker Salim Shaheen, who claims to have produced and directed more than one hundred movies (none of which is on IMDb!) and that he even was at work during the Taliban regime, when all recorded images, even photographs, were forbidden. Shaheen learned his stuff from Bollywood. He's identical to movie showmen anywhere else in the world: he's brash and self-centred and loves showing off in front of the camera. At the London Film Festival screening Kronlund said that she could only control him by getting into the frame with him. Her presence balances the film very well. Shaheen appears to be shooting a biopic in which he's played by one of his sons. But much of this may have been fabricated. Kronlund also revealed that she was often calling the shots. She organised the trip to Bamiyan, where Shaheen poses in front of the remains of the Buddhas and talks about the philistinism that destroyed them. She also seems to have arranged for company member Qurban Ali to play several roles. Ali appears to be gay and sometimes dresses as a woman to everyone's amusement. But in fact he's married with children and is regarded in Afghanistan merely as "eccentric." (Ali travelled with the film to Cannes, where he was quite a sensation). The stories of Shaheen and his crew shooting crazy action pictures while bombs fell around them are wonderful. "Nothingwood" celebrates the indomitability of cinema.Nothing can stop it - even when a mad dictatorship makes it illegal!


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