CONFLICT: In the capital of a country that only seems to get international attention when suicide bombs claims lives, director Aboozar Amini offers a fly on the wall glimpse into life as the locals live it.
Nick Holdsworth
Journalist, writer, author, filmmaker and film and TV industry expert – Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
Published date: June 17, 2019

Kabul, City in the Wind

Aboozar Amini

Jia Zhao

Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, Netherlands

Aboozar Amini’s film – which he wrote, directed and lensed – is a remarkable portrait on the lives of unremarkable people living in a country whose name evokes warfare and hardship.

Kabul, City in the Wind lives up to its name where the dry, dusty wind of Afghanistan is an ever-present subtext, even as children bang rocks on the rusting Soviet tanks that still litter the capital’s streets, or for poor driver Abbas who endlessly struggles to fix his ailing bus.

A lyrical work that allows the film’s protagonists to speak for themselves, Amini’s hand-held camera follows the endearing adventures of a policeman’s three sons and the more anguished existence of Abbas.

If there is frequent talk in the bus station canteen among the drivers and ticket collectors of the latest suicide bomb and the numbers killed, the «war on terror» is a distant thing, off camera and only once heard as a far-away bomb blast.

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Beautiful, proud, troubled

Amin’s intent, in a film made with the support of the Busan Film Festival, is to show that life goes on and to reveal to an international audience something of a harshly beautiful, proud and troubled country.

In Abbas, the director finds a perfect philosopher.

Handsome and unaffected – a dusty, weather-beaten version of cricketer turned Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan – Abbas may be illiterate but is poetic in his understanding of the human condition.

In a series of grainy close-ups of his key characters – where the image on screen is Rembrandt-esque in its intensity – Amin teases out their inner truth.

Kabul, City in the Wind, a film by Aboozar Amini

If you put together Abbas’ pithy statements you could almost have a series of Shakespearean soliloquies:

«When I look back on my life, I’ve had only 10% peace.»

«I’ve fought to survive non-stop.»

«All kinds of jobs – selling …

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