Mumbai: Three young
girls from Afghanistan have teamed up to show the fun side of the
war-ravaged country through a 17-minute film "Kabul Cards". The
trio wants to send a message to the world that their homeland is
not just about war.
Sahar, 16, who currently attends high school, 19-year-old Sadaf, a
music student, and Nargis, 18, who works in an information agency,
have filmed their daily lives in Kabul for the movie.
Despite the ongoing war and widespread discrimination against
women, the three girls took the challenge of filming themselves
and showing the world how they have fun together and how actively
they are working to change the society in "Kabul Cards", which was
showcased at the ongoing 14th Mumbai Film Festival.
"We want to change people's mind and their thinking about
Afghanistan with the video. All they know about us is wars and
explosions, but we want the world to know about the civilians
living there, the people and the activists who are living to
reform things," Nargis told IANS.
"There is a lot more that is happening their like environmental
campaigns and cultural programmes, but all the world knows and the
international media writes about are the war," she added.
Talking about the attitude of people in their country, Sahar said:
"We don't feel safe when we walk on the streets. They think if we
are going out, so we are bad girls. And it is not just the men who
think like this, there are some women who also have that kind of
thinking. This is what we want to change."
The first seed of the idea to make the film was sown last year
when two Norwegians - Christoffer Naess and Anders Smme Hammer -
thought of making a movie about civilian life in Afghanistan.
While Hammer has been working as a journalist in Afghanistan since
June 2007, Naess works with Global Video Letters, an organization
that focuses on international participatory media projects.
The two, who have produced the film, got in touch with these girls
and organised a camera-handling workshop for them before they
started shooting the film.
Hammer says he got tired of reporting about war.
"I got tired of doing the same stories of war and everything. I
thought about working on something else that will show the normal
life of people. So I got in touch with these young talented girls
and then the other two and rest is history," he told IANS.
After the first experience, the girls are planning to continue
filming in Kabul next year too and what motivates them is that
their respective families are supporting their endeavour.
"It was fun working with small camera on the streets. People got
scared the minute they saw cameras in our hands as if we had a big
power in our hands. Filmmaking experience was great," Nargis said.
This is Sadaf and Nargis' first visit to India and they have been
shopping around with Sahar, who came here earlier as part of a
The young activists also love Bollywood films. With "Lagaan", "Rockstar",
"Taare Zameen Par" and "3 Idiots" on their most favourite list,
they are waiting to watch "Barfi!".
"We have learned Hindi from Bollywood films only," said Nargis.