The film club screens Afghan Star on Tuesday at the Gibraltar Room

The film club screens Afghan Star on Tuesday at the Gibraltar Room

Film club screens Afghan Star Tuesday

The Williams Lake Film Club will screen the exciting documentary Afghan Star this Tuesday at the Gibraltar Room.

The Williams Lake Film Club will screen the exciting documentary Afghan Star this Tuesday at the Gibraltar Room.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show time is 7 p.m.

Winner of the Directing and Audience Awards in Sundance’s 2009 World Documentary competition, Afghan Star follows the dramatic stories of four young finalists, two men and two women, as they hazard everything to become the nation’s favourite performer.

The film runs for 87 minutes and is not rated.

I definitely recommend it for our young teenage audience as well.

A bit of background: After 30 years of war and Taliban-rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Afghan Star, an American Idol-style TV series, is searching the country for the next generation of music stars.

More than 2,000 people are auditioning to try their luck. Only three of them are women. The organizers, Tolo TV, believe that with this program they can “move people from guns to music.” And in this they are strongly supported by the young singers.

Afghan Star is exactly what American Idol would look like if the contestants were playing for the biggest stakes imaginable: political and social freedom, gender equality, a chance to heal a country 30 years under the yokes of war and religious dictatorship.

This documentary is probably one of the most hopeful and heart-rending movies you will see this year. What Americans consider frivolous entertainment is downright revolutionary in this troubled part of the world.

Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist philosopher, stated so very aptly: “Music could perhaps be called the most truly human form of dialogue we are capable of. Though people may differ in the color of their skin, the language they speak, their customs and ways, or the material culture which surrounds them, the power of music makes it possible for them to instantly communicate and respond to each other’s innermost feelings.”

It is truly fascinating to watch the various singers, to get an impression of their different family backgrounds, the various tribes they come from, their hopes and convictions. It is also fascinating to get a look at an Afghanistan 30 years ago, populated with free and often happy young people.

As Oprah Winfrey said: “Everyone, and I mean everyone, should see this film.”

What can I add to that formidable voice?

Please mark your calendars also for Tuesday, May 5. That evening we will have our huge final event: The Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour 2015.

This is the summer equivalent to the Banff Mountain Film Festival, all about water, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, you name it.

It certainly is wild and wet – and a lot of fun. Advance tickets are $12 and are now available at Red Shreds and at the reception desk at the Cariboo Memorial Complex Recreational Centre until May 4. Admission at the door is $15.

Afghan Star will be screened on Tuesday, April 21, at the Gibraltar Room at 7 p.m. Back doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $9 regular, $8 for film club members and $6 for students, TRU and HS, as well as seniors.


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