Director: Mariam Ghani
What We Left Unfinished tells the story of five feature films made during the soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1978-1991), whose editing was never ended. Nonetheless, this documentary can be also understood as an homage to a close-knit group of Afghan filmmakers who loved film enough to risk their lives for it. Despite government interference, censorship boards, scarce resources, armed opposition, and near-constant threats of arrest and even death, subversive films were made, and, in the filmmakers’ opinion, they were always true to reality. These five films, The April Revolution (1978), Downfall (1987), The Black Diamond (1989), Wrong Way (1990) and Agent (1991) were abandoned by their authors and were never edited.
Mariam Ghani’s previous projects in Afghanistan have documented the territorial politics of the post-war constitutional assembly, real estate speculations in the reconstruction of Kabul and the secret prisons in theaters of war, besides the forgotten histories of Afghan artists and intellectuals. Her films and installations have been presented by IFFR, the Lincoln Center, the MoMA, the National Gallery, Documenta, the CCCB, Garage and the Liverpool, Sharjah and Gwangju Biennials. What We Left Unfinished is her first feature film.