Published: 29 September, 2011
by DAN CARRIER
Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars
It costs the US $60billion a year to run their Afghanistan campaign.
And when you watch this brilliantly researched, shot and carefully edited film about one young person’s life in this dramatic, beautiful and tragic country, you can’t help but feel there must be a much better way of spending dollars to help the people there throw off the shackles of want, disease, illiteracy, unemployment and squalor.
Instead of fighting unwinnable wars, that cash could surely fuel economic emancipation and with it lead to a better country for all.
This is an exceptional effort: it charts the growth of a boy in rural Afghanistan. It is full of the fabric of life, of an individual’s growth, of turning from a boy into a man.
It just so happens Mir, the small boy who is the subject of Phil Grabsky’s documentary, happens to live in an astonishingly beautiful country that is also at the centre of a geo-political war that has been raging throughout his life.
Grabsky had travelled to the country in 2002, soon after the fall of the Taliban government to grab a snap shot of Mir’s life.
He was at the time living in a small cave next to the place where the Taliban had blown up the giant Buddha statues in Bamiyan – his family had been driven from the village.
But Grabksky realised this little peek into Mir’s life would not be enough for his project, so he followed the boy for 10 years.
We watch as Mir’s family eventually return home – to a place not much better from where they were exiled.
As Mir grows, we join his family as they struggle to feed and clothe themselves, and we watch as Mir goes to school, chases dreams of being a teacher, and then faces the reality of being a young man in an impoverished and highly dangerous country.