Afghanistan · Color · 90'
When Amir’s teenaged son dies in a rocket attack, his family falls apart. His wife Nazira falls silent, his young daughter runs the house. Amir turns to his job as a postman for solace. It is the winter of 1991. As Kabul is circled by war, he goes about delivering letters to people’s homes. When his younger son gets in trouble, Amir is forced to seek help from Sailay, the beautiful letter reader appointed by the secret police. He gets trapped into doing work for her that he doesn’t completely understand. Will he be able to escape this web and save his family from the coming war?
The years of civil war beginning the winter of 1991 was a time when history took a decisive turn for Afghanistan. The Postman is an attempt at reliving that time, to be able to understand the present a little better.
I lived through the years the film is set in, which makes it an important project for me personally as well as artistically. The era contains the genesis for many of the problems facing Afghanistan today. The film will approach this version of Kabul as part dream, part nightmare. It will combine nostalgia for the quiet, modern city with the awareness of looming war, through the shottaking and music, as well as the editing. My earlier film Osama excavated the hidden stories of Kabul during the Taliban era. In The Postman, I will dig deeper into this soil to build on this portrait of the beauty and tragedy of being a Kabuli.
The Postman began as a story I carried in my head for years. It was a film I knew I wanted to make when I began working as a producer, at a time when the Afghan film industry was trying to rebuild itself. It carries personal as well as professional significance, as it is set during a time when my home changed forever. Many Afghans are still stuck in that moment, and I feel telling this story will help others understand our reality better.
Our natural and top choice for this project was Siddiq Barmak, who has taken Afghan cinema to the world stage through his career. Afghans have long been represented by others. Now, after years of democracy and a media boom, we are a different nation. Barmak has the emotional and cultural resources needed to tell this story with Afghan sensibilities. While set in a particular period, The Postman talks of family and transformation, of coming home to safety. I am confident that this contemporary subject will appeal to audiences worldwide. It has already been well received at NFDC Filmbazaar’s Co-Production Market in Goa, and received support from the Busan Script and Development Fund.
Production Company Profile
Star Group is a production company based in Kabul. It was established in 2006 to create work that is rooted in Afghan experiences. We have produced documentaries, shorts, features and educational content, working with filmmakers from across generations. We draw on years of combined experience, international training and exposure to present stories from our region, that speak not only to an international audience but to Afghans everywhere.
Neighbor by Zobair Farghand (Fiction, 90’, 2009)
An Apple from Paradise by Homayoun Morouwat (Fiction, 90’, 2008)
Darwaish by Zobair Farghand (TV serial, 2009)
Star group media
Original screen play
Afghanistan and Tajikistan
Shooting start date
Expected completion date
Writing / Development
Financing in place