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Good Morning Kandahar

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“My country fights a war in my father’s country. And I look on with a growing sense of confusion.” So Ariel Nasr begins his powerful new documentary, Good Morning Kandahar, which gives poignant voice to the dilemmas felt by thousands of young Afghans around the world – many in surprising places – as they grapple with events in their homeland.

Good Morning Kandahar introduces us to young men and women torn between a deep desire to help Afghanistan and fear that things will never change. Some are enthusiastic. There’s ‘Dewa’, who broadcasts pop songs, recipes and beauty tips to Kandahar on RANA-FM. And Yahseer. who enjoys the freedom of Canada’s nightlife, but by day broadcasts to tradition-bound Kandahar – mostly good news, plus warnings to keep back from NATO convoys.

The film grows darker when we meet Najia, who grieves in exile for her country. A refugee, she was once a broadcaster at a women’s station in Afghanistan – until a death threat forced her to flee. Meanwhile, at a NATO training camp in Alberta – complete with a re-creation of an Afghan landscape – role-players wear fake Taliban beards and enthuse about riding in tanks. Here we also find Sharif, a young translator haunted by the wars he witnessed – and upset by Afghan friends who call him a traitor for helping the Canadian military.

Amidst all the conflicting opinions, Nasr decides to see for himself. He travels to Afghanistan, where he learns many feel that NATO is just another invader, finds little improvement in life, and comes to think that Canada’s mission is failing.

Good Morning Kandahar is a moving and rich film that brings a badly needed personal perspective to a painful controversy.

Good Morning Kandahar was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.


2008, 50 min 51 s

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Best Original Score
Atlantic Film Festival
September 11 to 20 2008, Halifax - Canada

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