Click on first photo for 3 minute trailer.
AFGHANS RETURNING is a heartfelt journey across a
war torn land. As the people speak out, the viewer will
get a feel for the continuing struggle in Afghanistan for
the very things that you and I take for granted, such as
water, food, shelter, and electricity. We will visit schools
and see how education is still only at a rudimentary level
and that the struggle for equality among women varies
from region to region and will continue for many
years to come.
We cross Afghanistan from East to West following the ancient caravan routes along the silk and spice roads, in order to document the work of non-governmental organisations who support the local people and facilitate the return of refugees to their place of origin. We explore the country's tribal divisions, the relationship between nomadic and sedentary communities and the various ethnic groups and identify the balance between political, military and religious authorities which goes back in time in the memory of the country. However we also document the loss of artistic heritage and identity destroyed by war, in an attempt to paint as complete a picture as possible. We tell the story of soldiers, farmers, shepherds, women and children, a story of great suffering over more than thirty war-torn years but also a story of hope linked to the rebirth of a people who have showed enormous courage and resourcefulness.
Our journey starts in Kabul, a city devastated by civil war but which shows signs of recovery. People are beginning to come back after many years and the disabled face the future with hope and strength of will. The Afghans are playing an active role in mine-clearing and construction work has started everywhere. Alberto Cairo from the International Red Cross has opened in Kabul a rehabilitation centre for the maimed and injured. He is witness to the daily emergencies experienced in Afghanistan today.
Leaving Kabul, we travel across the Indu Kush passes to Bamyan, home to the Azara people, obliged to live in the caves which were once the refuge of Buddhist monks. Their own homes were destroyed by the Taliban canons during the war, The regional people's assembly is taking place under the immense niches which formerly sheltered the statues of Buddha before they were smashed to pieces by the Talibans.
People of Azara origin, with Asian features, sit side by side with the Tadzhik minority and discuss their problems together. Men and women choose their representatives for the national government. In the villages farmers once again plant their crops and repair their homes. Across the Bamyan valley, passing through Pol-i Kombri we reach Mazar el Sharif, visit the camps of the homeless and hear their stories.
We visit Balkh, one of the oldest cities in the world, and its abandoned ruins, and continue across the steppes scattered with the tents of the nomads as far as Maymana, in the Faryab region. After three years of drought farmers are returning to their fields, new wells have been dug and life is getting back to normal. The girls' school has been rebuilt and one hundred students are enthusiastically studying and looking forward to being able to contribute fully to the recovery of Afghanistan. Here are stories of women who opposed the Talibans in secret and have now come back to fill responsible and leading positions in the community. They see the importance of work and solidarity as central to the process of recovery .
We continue from Maymana to Herat, in the westernmost region of Afghanistan. Here the refugees returning from Iran begin a new life in their native land. Herat is still fortunately a fine city and is the site of a transit camp home to dust and fragments of lives. Here are stories of young people who have decided to return, with all the doubts and fears that such a choice entails. We proceed to the south of the country, through Kandahar and end our journey in Gazni, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Afghanistan, presided by Tadzhik mujaheddin.
THE PRODUCTION TEAM:
Born in Vercelli, Italy, graduated in Modern Literature at the DAMS in Bologna. She has worked as a journalist, director and producer. In 1987 she started to work at RAI, in particular with national TG3 and in specialised television reporting. In 1992 she worked as executive producer at TG5. She has made dozens of reports in Italy and abroad, with particular concern for social and cultural issues. She has directed and produced documentaries on Egypt, Iraq, the US and the Balkans, all of which have been distributed internationally.
Born in Terni, Italy, graduated in History at the University of Trieste. He is a director and has been working at RAI since 1978. He has directed and produced dozens of documentaries of mainly social and cultural content for the CMCA, NAT GEO and for Geo & Geo. In the nineties he was the director of an international co-operation project between eleven television networks with the aim of producing a series on national minorities in Europe. Since 1987 he has been the art director of national TG3 and directs the major stories in the new sections.
Born in Brussels and a graduate in photography from the Accademie des Arts Plastiques and in cinematography from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma. Since 1996 he has been photographic director for videoclips, documentaries, shorts and films of both Italian and international production and has experimented with all types of photography techniques using film and electronic methods. Nicolas is closely involved in contemporary Italian cinema and collaborates with new directors participating in the principal international festivals.
Editing by Esteban Vivaldi-Vera
Sound Track by Mohssen Kasirossafar & Paolo Modugno
Song "Afghanistan" by Tullio Visioli
supported by UNESCO
special thanks to INTERSOS
Producer's Representative offering Broadcast licenses internationally.
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