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Kandahar Review

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Canadian journalist Nafas (Pazira) travels back to her homeland after receiving a letter from her sister saying that she's about to commit suicide. As she meets zealots, a kind, black American doctor and landmines victims, she reflects on the way that women have been virtually erased from Afghan society.

★★★★

It's either the best or worst possible time for Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's latest to receive its UK release. We lean towards the former, because this courageous attack on the Taliban's treatment of women opens Western eyes to a reality behind both the borders of Afghanistan and UK news headlines.

Utilising handheld, verite techniques, Makhmalbaf's imagery is as beautiful as his politics are uncompromising, and yet his film glows with human spirit. It also has the great advantage of being accessible, communicating its message with passionate intelligence and brilliantly memorable imagery.

An important film from a great director, still pertinent to troubled times.

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