D: Are there any other filmmakers in particular from whom you draw inspiration? Setara is instantly labelled a loose woman and is publicly condemned for this "insult and degradation" by the ex-governor of her home city of Herat, one of whose young citizens claims sincerely that she deserves to be killed. We all have the ability to influence the lives of others by our words, thoughts, actions, and even our blood. Man in the street: [after Setara adds dance moves to her song] She should be killed. Unfortunately for Sadiqi, the continuing drama that makes the story so rich has very real consequences for its characters, and he reportedly left Afghanistan to seek asylum in the US as the film screened at Sundance. For one thing, the patriarchal culture makes it unlikely that women will participate, and when a couple do, one of them, Setara Hussainzada, gets in trouble for dancing on-stage and accidentally letting her headscarf slip; not only is she removed from the show, but she has to go into hiding for her safety. Think hard. On this audition, the Ghazal fans from all over the country participated to show their talents in order to satisfy the judges for getting a success card which advances them to the next steps of auditions and finally to the top 12. //-->. "So we'd just follow the action, turn up, drink tea, wait for the moment to shoot and leave. During her farewell performance she dances with free body movements without her hijab, as opposed to the more constrained dancing considered socially appropriate. We then went to More4 True Stories; Sandra Whipham commissioned it instantly. Currently in its 12th season, Afghan Star is pure delight. In America, this would be a dystopian nightmare. Afghan Star, reality TV show, searches for most-talented singers across Afghanistan, a war-torn nation. But Lima and Setara, two of only three women out of an original pool of 2,000 contestants, take a far greater risk--by just daring to make themselves visible. (One interviewee simply states that she should be killed.). The film looks at where Setara is now and the impact that her controversial performance has had on her life and her country, including ever-present threats to her safety. Havana Marking: I knew the idea was brilliant and would be commissioned, but it was my first big film (I had only directed a 30 min. I can only hope to follow that path. Two are women, which in itself is remarkable: Setara Hussainzada from Herat and Lima Sahar from Kandahar. The documentary follows these two women and two men. Three years later, Afghan Star, the country's equivalent of Pop Idol, was launched by Tolo TV, Afghanistan's leading independent television company. All four contestantsRaafi Naabzada, Hameed Sajhizada, Setara Hussainzada, Lima Saharare likable, even if their talent might seem fairly limited to anyone without a taste for the kind of songs they perform. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV. Young women admired her. And since one of the two female contestantsSetara Hussainzadais a rule breaker who goes beyond the dictates of Islamic religion (she shows her hair and dances during a performance), were given a much more potentially dangerous drama, since this results in death threats. Afghan Star, the documentary about that TV show, is one of the most hopeful and heart-rending movies Ive seen this year. His family thought he was dead because they didn't see him for two days, but his evil plan backfired when he woke up to see his wife, son, and daughter lying dead on the floor. Sahar, the more demure of the two, kept well within expectations of how Afghani women should perform in public. The following are edited excerpts from that conversation. Connect your Spotify account to your Last.fm account and scrobble everything you listen to, from any Spotify app on any device or platform. Winner of both World Cinema-Documentary Audience and Directing Awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the feature debut for British director Havana Marking is a rare snapshot of a society in transition--unmoored and unpredictable. The story hinges on one climactic moment that itself might seem rather underwhelming to Westerners unfamiliar with regressive interpretations of Islamic morality, but is as good as any fiction. Video Collection: Youtube Title: Episode 37 - Special Concert. Setara was eventually evicted from her home. Fearing for her life, Setara goes into hiding. Your comment is D: How did the sense of unpredictability (and danger) in the field affect your work as a director, and the development of the film? To follow him, go to www.twitter.com/tyburr. AFGHAN STAR. Though Taliban was swept from power in 2001, Islamic militants still regard music as sinful and have targeted Afghan musicians in assassination plots. Backstage, horrified, her fellow contestants' voices are thin when they ask, "Why is she dancing?" Does it include "American Idol"? These comic reversals move at the speed of tectonic plates. It is not safe in Herat now. He is Hazara, from the centre of the country, where the Bamiyan Buddhas were blown up by the Taliban, and has an interest in traditional music. In English, Dari, and Pashtun, with. The contestants are kept safe inside the show compound for the duration of the show. Taking the inflammatory convergence of democracy, modernity and pop culture in a fragile "post-war" Afghanistan as its point of departure, Afghan Star is a powerful and evocative documentary, grounded in astute . Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In this follow-up to 'Afghan Star,' filmmaker Havana Marking returns to Afghanistan to check in on infamous contestant Setara from the popular Afghan talent show of the same name. Would you like to receive event invitations, funding news, and other updates from the International Documentary Association? The movie, which won directing and audience awards at this years Sundance, follows the shows third season, launched in October 2007, and focuses on four contestants from the more than 2,000 who auditioned. With wonderful touches like watching a little Afghan girl at home making her Caucasian Barbie doll sing Afghan pop music and wear a burka, Afghan Star is an intimate peek into the lives of people who haven't been allowed to sing or watch TV under Taliban rule for approximately 20 years, as they risk their lives to create their own version of American Idol. D: Do you keep in touch with any of the subjects, or have any recent news? "Politics bring misery". All Rights Reserved. The final was watched by 11 million people, a third of the Afghan population, all voting for their favourite singer by mobile phone; for many, it was their first taste of democracy. Women could sing in public without being whipped. From the first broadcast a figure of inspiration and hope to the countrys women (and many men), Hussainzada sang Persian pop songs with a shimmy and a smile, and when she was eliminated in the first round, she defiantly danced her way through her final number and let her head covering slip to her shoulders. Running time: 87 minutes. But its just a little too flat-footed as filmmaking to suck you completely in. I was determined that wouldn't happen; I knew that I was the best person to direct this film. While one-third of Afghanistan watches, Rafi Naabzada wins the final round, becoming the Afghan Star. The message in his songs is national inclusiveness and unity. Afghan Star soundtrack from 2009, composed by Various Artists. Suicide Bomb Hits Afghan Capital Days Before Security Talks. Im so happy! Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company. Afghan Star is a 2008 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. But the prize is considerable: as well as fame, the winner receives 5,000, which is 10 times the average salary. She said she had feelings on the stage, as she had already been evicted (votes decide who stays). To see a woman make such wonderful, beautiful and heart-filled films, be successful and still be a nice person is very inspiring. This country was like a house that no one was living in, says Rafi, implying that the lights are coming on again, one by one. Thats simply a case of cultural difference and is beside the point of the film, which is to examine the possibility of a show like this cutting through the regional and tribal differences of the contestants and the people voting for them. Starring: Setara Hussainzada, Lima Sahar, Hameed Sakhizada, Rafi Naabzada, Daoud Sediqi. Contestants risk their lives to appear on the television show that is a raging success with the public and also monitored closely by the government. Down 102,732 this week. Its a frustratingly sketchy portrait; in the half-hour allotted her, Marking doesnt give us the wider cultural setting of a country struggling toward freedom of expression, and she may wrongly assume that a US viewer has seen Afghan Star. (The original documentary airs before the new film tonight and is highly recommended.). Our actions can have a profound impact on other people, and its actually quite possible to make friends and even change the lives of others. streaming Afghan Star? [CDATA[// >