This film was shot during two trips that Majid Majidi took in Western Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002.
In the first trip in November 2001, Majidi visited the refugee camp of MAKAKI in a Taliban controlled area and MILE 46, another small camp situated in a Northern Alliance held area.
This was just after the offensive against the Taliban forces had started. People were fleeing away from the air raids on Kandahar, Herat and others cities and villages.
The second trip took place in February 2002 in the city of Herat now freed from the Taliban and in the hunger stricken camp of MASLAKH, one of the largest in the world.
The film first relates the journey of Afghans refugees fleeing the bombing and war around Herat and other cities to take refuge in ill-equipped camps.
It witnesses the struggle of families having lost everything and attempting to secure a minimal life. Faced with cold, hunger and death. -- IMDb
Producers: Majid Majidi
Consultant: Fouad Nahas
Cinematographers: Morteza Pursamadi, Soheil Noroozi, Masoud Korrani
Editor: Hassan Hassandoust
Sound-recordists: Mohammad Reza Delpak, Mehdi Darabi, Farid Pirayesh
In November 2001 I visited two major refugee camps in Afghanistan (Makaki and Mile 146, Zarand). In March 2002, I went to the city of Heart and to Maslakh, the largest and oldest refugee camp in Afghanistan.
I wanted to catch the atmosphere of a city recovering from war and also of a camp where been a refugee had become a way of life.
During these travels I have been emotionally overwhelmed by the destitution of the refugees and the terrifying living conditions of the children and families.
I was also amazed by the efforts they were doing to live a normal life within adversity. Through the camps, we have followed several families and children at different stages of entering and living the life of a refugee.
Among the children we approached, many were orphans and while some of them become familiar to the audience as they appear in several scenes, some other just pass by, leaving only the testimony of their fate. I did not want to make a journalistic or a folklore documentary.
For me, and I hope it would be for the audience, the film is an emotional experience. I wanted this film to come from within the Afghans themselves with minimal external interventions.
There are no voice over, all the events and situations are visual and expressed by the Afghans themselves, through conversations with me.
The Afghans spoke to us as they would to witnesses, friends and confidants about their frustration, their despair, their resignation and for som their hope for a better life. The music and effects recorded on site reflect the unspoken emotions of this proud people.
I hope that this film will throw some light on the continuous plight of the Afghans and remind the world that their life has not change a bit since all the world suddenly talked about them and promise to help.
Read about this film
Title: Barefoot to Herat - Pa berahneh ta Herat (2002)
Directed by: Majid Majidi
Date of birth: 14 April 1959, Tehran, Iran
Language: Farsi | Dari
Runtime: 76 min.
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