News from the Locarno Festival

Far From Afghanistan

Far From Afghanistan



“I believe anger to be a very underrated emotion and find it the motive force for much of what I do. My work on this project is an unbottling of years of deep-seated frustration over our collective capacity to turn away from our actions and responsibilities in the world. Cinema as social venom.”—John Gianvito.

Inspired by the landmark 1967 collaborative undertaking, Far From Vietnam, John Gianvito conceived of a vital political project to bring together a selection of progressive and independent-minded American filmmakers—Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson, Soon-mi Yoo, and Gianvito himself—to together present a mosaic of poetic documentary, fictional and experimental approaches on the subject of the underreported decade-long occupation of Afghanistan, from the slaughter of innocent civilians to the impact on the soldiers and the home front in Obama’s America.

Interspersed between the sections of the omnibus are emotionally wrenching segments shot by native Afghani filmmakers that capture the everyday reality of the war: you can feel the pain first-hand. Not an easy watch (nor should it be), Far From Afghanistan is both bold, revelatory progressive filmmaking and anguished political activism: more than just bringing attention to the perils of war, Gianvito and his co-filmmakers’ goal is to energize an international effort to redirect US policy away from political intervention and towards humanitarian and developmental care-giving.

Mark Peranson

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