A FLICKERING TRUTH

New Zealand / Afghanistan, 2015 (MIFF 2016, Documentaries)

Director: Pietra Brettkelly

A FLICKERING TRUTH

"An historical journey, a love letter to Afghanistan, its cinema and people." – CineVue

When the Taliban came to power, it marked the end of the Afghan film industry. They considered cinema to be the cornerstone of decadent Western culture, and would punish anyone who made new films, or failed to destroy existing films. But defiant art lovers ignored this decree, risking their lives to protect Afghanistan's cinema history. With the Taliban's power now waning, exiled filmmaker Ibrahim Arify is put in charge of the archive. Aided by the 82-year-old Isaaq, who has lived in the archive building for three decades, Ibrahim searches for this long-lost key to his country's history.

Directed by Pietra Brettkelly (Maori Boy Genius, MIFF 2012), A Flickering Truth explores not just Afghanistan's early cinema, but what happens to a nation's creative people when they are forbidden from expressing themselves. Brettkelly gained access to Ibrahim's search from the beginning, capturing the extraordinary moments of discovery as they happened, and highlighting never-before-seen footage going as far back as the early 1900s.

"This is moving, powerful stuff." – The Guardian


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