OPENING – OFFICIAL SECTION
Director: Shahrbanoo Sadat
Language: VOSE / VOSC
Qodrat is a 15 year old boy who lives on the streets of Kabul selling cinema tickets on the black market in order to survive. He is a big Bollywood fan and daydreams about some scenes from his favourite films. One day, he is arrested by the police and transferred to an orphanage. It is the end of the 1980s in a country under the Soviet invasion, which is nevertheless changing. The orphanage is the world of children who, like him, have been recovered from the streets of an occupied city and yet defend the island on which they live. The director of the centre encourages competition among the inmates through some activities, among which chess stands out. The best players are taken to Moscow for a friendly competition with their opponents, but the drama underlies everything from the start to the end.
Shahrbanoo Sadat is an Afghan writer and director who was born in Tehran in 1991, but grew up in a small and very isolated village in central Afghanistan. She studied in Kabul at the Atelier Varan. Her first feature film was Wolf and Sheep, which won the first prize in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2016 and was screened at the Asian Film Festival Barcelona in 2017. His second feature film, The Orphanage, also premiered in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. The filmmaker says she is fed up with seeing how Afghanistan is portrayed by the media. She is just as sick of those optimistic views of her country as she is of the opposite. “I am resorting to the Cinéme Verité approach. I want people to have a vision of Afghanistan on a daily basis with very simple and universal stories”.
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