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The prolific Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Gabbeh) had one of his most visible international successes with this haunting, open-ended drama. Set (and shot) during the Taliban era, it follows an Afghani-Canadian woman as she attempts to enter Afghanistan in search of a despondent sister. Since it is illegal for a woman to travel alone, she must rely on the kindness--or curiosity--of strangers, including a scrappy boy and a mysterious American doctor. The woman playing the lead role had earlier contacted Makhmalbaf about a similar real-life search, which prompted him to write the screenplay. The director doesn't really tell her story so much as he unveils a way of life: in the desert, we meet land-mine victims, Red Cross volunteers caught in a Catch-22 world, and women smothered in head-to-foot burkas. The portrait is one of oppression, but also of people furiously trying to get by.

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Special Features Commentary Track by Nelofer Pazira "Lifting the Veil" a documentary about the film

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NYFV85303 Kandahar DVD (2001/Mohsen Makkhmalbaf) $29.95 $26.99