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The Orphanage (12A*) + Introduction by curator Elhum Shakerifar

Her Lens, His Story

A large group of young boys play chess in The Orphanage

A young boy in 1980s Afghanistan is sent to a Soviet orphanage and finds himself in a complex social hierarchy with the other boys in Shahrbanoo Sadat’s tender drama.

When young Qodrat is caught selling black market cinema tickets on the streets of Kabul, he is sent to a Soviet orphanage where he enters a male social hierarchy, with an as yet unchallenged bully at the top of the pack. As the politics of Afghanistan change immeasurably around them, we see how the last days of the conflict affect the lives of the boys and their home.

While there are tensions within the boys’ relationships, Sadat expertly portrays the solidarity and camaraderie of the orphaned kids. Film fanatic Qodrat’s frequent daydreams, where he imagines himself in a series of elaborate Bollywood numbers, are a highlight of a moving and inventive coming-of-age tale.

2019 Afghanistan/Denmark/France/Germany/Luxembourg/Dir Shahrbanoo Sadat 90 min

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