March 6, 2013 - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - Afghan Film Program and Barmak Akram Screening
March 6, 2013

Afghan Film Program and Barmak Akram Screening

Wajma (An Afghan Love Story), 2012. Directed by Barmak Akram. Courtesy of filmmaker.

History of Histories
Afghan Film Program and Barmak Akram Screening


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
New York City

www.guggenheim.org/map

As the first exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia offers a glimpse into the region’s diverse contemporary art practices, presenting its cultural landscape as a consequence of intertwined histories, shared experiences, and common challenges, and suggesting an understanding of its aesthetic practices that transcends political and geographic boundaries. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Guggenheim Museum is pleased to present a series of programs dedicated to Afghan cinema of the past 50 years, organized by independent curator Leeza Ahmady and artist Mariam Ghani. 


Film Program
History of Histories: Afghan Films 1960 to Present
Friday, March 15, 22, and 29, 2pm 
Leeza Ahmady and Mariam Ghani introduce the program on March 1 and March 29.

This series of fiction features, newsreels, propaganda shorts, and documentaries juxtaposes contemporary films with selections from Pad.ma, the Public Access Digital Media Archive at Afghanistan’s national film institute, Afghan Films. The archive’s collection reflects the vibrant culture and shifting ideologies of Afghanistan from the 1960s to the ’90s, while the contemporary films explore the everyday complexities of life in modern Afghanistan. The diverse and compelling selection of films includes recent fiction shorts by the Kabul-based independent filmmakers of the Jump Cut Film Collective; a 1996 film essay on the civil war, Khan-e-Tarikh (The House of History), directed by Afghan Films cameraman Qader Tahiri; a 1980 feature Akhtar Maskara (Akhtar the Joker), adapted by director Eng. Latif Ahmadi from the short story by Rahnawad Zariab; Kabuli Kid (2009), the debut feature by Barmak Akram; and documentary shorts produced through the Kabul workshops of Ateliers Varan, the training program founded by direct cinema pioneer Jean Rouch. English subtitles. 

The schedule is as follows:

March 15
Documentary shorts, Dusty Night (directed by Mohamed Ali Hazara) and The Postman (directed by Wahid Nazir), from Ateliers Varan Kabul, 2011 (color, 47 minutes)
Fiction shorts, ANT (directed by Hashem Didari) and Devious (directed by Sayed Jalal Hussaini), by the Jump Cut Film Collective, 2009–10 (color, 28 minutes)
Feature Kabuli Kid, 2009, directed by Barmak Akram (color, 94 minutes)
Total runtime: 169 minutes

March 22
Selections from the Afghan Films archive, 1967–80 (black-and-white and color, 54 minutes)
Khan-e-Tarikh (The House of History), 1996, directed by Qader Tahiri (black-and-white, 20 minutes)
Fiction short, In the Name of Opium (directed by Sayed Jalal Hussaini), by the Jump Cut Film Collective, 2009–10 (black-and-white, 10 minutes)
Akhtar Maskara (Akhtar the Joker), 1980, directed by Latif Ahmadi (black-and-white, 90 minutes)
Total runtime: 174 minutes

March 29
Documentary shorts, Dusty Night (directed by Mohamed Ali Hazara) and The Postman (directed by Wahid Nazir), from Ateliers Varan Kabul, 2011 (color, 47 minutes)
Fiction shorts, ANT (directed by Hashem Didari) and Devious (directed by Sayed Jalal Hussaini), by the Jump Cut Film Collective, 2009–10 (color, 28 minutes)
Feature Mujasemaha Mekhandan (The Sculptures Are Laughing), 1976, directed by Toryalai Shafaq (black-and-white, 81 minutes)
Total runtime: March 29, 156 minutes

Free with museum admission. For the full schedule, visit guggenheim.org/filmscreenings.


Screening and Conversation 
Barmak Akram: The Kabuli Kid
A discussion with the filmmaker and screening of Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)—winner of Screenwriting Award: World Cinema Dramatic, Sundance Film Festival 2013
Friday, April 5, 6:30pm

A special one-time screening of Wajma (An Afghan Love Story), the most recent film written and directed by Barmak Akram (b. 1966, Kabul), which follows the clandestine relationship of gregarious waiter Mustafa and pretty student Wajma. A playful and passionate affair unravels when Wajma discovers she is pregnant and the consequences of broken societal rules rapidly unfold. Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) offers a complex and nuanced portrait of relationships, both romantic and familial, and gender roles in contemporary middle-class Afghanistan. 

Following the screening, Leeza Ahmady, Mariam Ghani, and Barmak Akram discuss filmmaking in Afghanistan, and the historic context and themes of cinema from the region. Program concludes with a reception and exhibition viewing of No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia.

FREE with advance registration at guggenheim.org/MAP.


Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative
The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a multi-year cross-cultural collaboration between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and UBS in support of art, artists, and curatorial talent from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. For additional public and online programs related to the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, including daily film screenings, workshops and artist talks visit guggenheim.org/MAP.


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