September 17

Salon E-Girdbad (Salon of the whirlwind)

Curated by Mariam Ghani

Program of events

September 20 & 21, 2014, 4pm

Screening of never-before-seen footage from three unfinished feature films from Afghanistan’s Communist period, followed by Afghan tea service and an informal discussion with Mariam Ghani, political scientist Abassin Nessar, and Peter Taylor (Rotterdam Film Festival).
Roughly 30 minutes of each film will be presented in a new cut, assembled by Ghani from the black-and-white, silent rush prints based on interviews with the directors and actors.

On Saturday, September 20th, Ghani, Nessar and Taylor will be joined by Drs. Zamiruddin Mihanpoor and Parwin Zaher-Mihanpoor for a post-screening conversation about the political context and unfinished projects of the Parcham regime, which commissioned the films.

On Sunday, September 21st, musicians from the radical free improv project 4 States Sessions will spontaneously improvise scores for the films, followed by a post-screening conversation about the radical potential of unfinished artistic projects. Featuring Emil Gross (percussion), Igor Gross (vibraphone), and Luca Kezdy (violin & effects).


Almase Siah (The Black Diamond)
Abdul Khalek Halil, 1984
Starring Nuroshan Abir, Nassima Jalal, Abdullah Samadi, Asadullah Aram, Zarghuna Aram, Esturay Mangal, Qader Faroukh, Mari Omeid, and Farida
A man’s involvement with a gang of diamond smugglers leads to unfortunate consequences for his family, especially his rebellious teenage daughter. Almase Siah not only takes as its subject the trafficking that provided income for the mujahidin, but also replicates in some scenes specific stories that circulated during this period.

Soqoot (Falling)
Faqir Nabi, 1986
Starring Farid Fayz, Adela Adeem, Qader Faroukh, Esturay Mangal, Zarghuna Aram, Juwansher Haidary, Saboor Khinji, Said Mira, and Farida
A police officer goes undercover to infiltrate a criminal organization, but finds his new life dangerously seductive, and begins to have trouble balancing between truth and lies. Soqoot reflects the paranoia of the mid-1980s, when Afghanistan’s secret service (KhAD, mentored by the Stasi) was believed to have placed informants in every profession and neighborhood, through a story that turns on signifiers of surveillance: infiltration, eavesdropping, bugs and wiretaps, stakeouts with telephoto lenses, and always people watching each other, both openly and furtively.

Kaj Rah (Wrong Way)
Juwansher Haidary, 1990
Starring Farid Fayz, Estoray Mangal, Faqir Nabi, Habib Zorghai, Faif Azouly, Fay Ebadi, Mari Omeid, Asadullah Aram, Saboor Khinji, Faqir Kawider, Sharif Kheir Khwo, Tsang Chikan, and Homeira
The conflicts within and around a border village represent in miniature the conflicts of the war between regime and mujahidin, the personal ties between fighters on both sides, and the ways in which each has diverted from the right way or straight path. Kah Rah (which also translates as ‘crooked path’) was shot just before Najib’s ‘reconciliation jirga’ of 1991, and is part of the same mood swing towards reconciliation; its director originally planned to incorporate that historic meeting of Communists and mujahidin into the film itself.