Reel Asian Film Screening: What We Left Unfinished

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Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 20198:00PM - 9:30PMExternal Event, Innis Town Hall Theatre, 2 Sussex Avenue
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Same-day rush tickets will be available from 7 PM on the night of the show.

Feature Presentation

Afghanistan/USA 2019
Dari with English subtitles
PG • Toronto Premiere

Mariam Ghani

Latif Ahmadi
Hossain Fakhri
Said Miran Farhad
Juwansher Haidary
Wali Latifi
Faqir Nabi
Yasamin Yarmal

2019 Berlinale Forum
2019 Sheffield Doc/Fest

From 1978 to 1991, the Afghan Films Institute had been producing propaganda features to fit with the times. This documentary follows the incredible story of five of these unfinished works from Afghanistan’s Communist era, when the constantly shifting political regimes resulted in films remaining unfinished, unedited, and thought to be destroyed.

In her debut feature, Mariam Ghani pieces fragments of this once-lost footage, from The April Revolution (1978), Downfall (1987), The Black Diamond (1989), Wrong Way (1990), and Agent (1991), unedited (and therefore, uncensored). Just as the original filmmakers did when they shot action scenes with real bullets, hired ex-agents to play spies, or restaged the Communist coup d’état with the army, air force, and an awful lot of tanks and missiles, What We Left Unfinished interweaves histories and fictions. Ultimately, we come to understand both the price paid by Afghan filmmakers for the benefits they gained under Communism and the reasons they persisted despite the risks they faced—and why they still believe that film could save Afghanistan from the divisions tearing it apart today.

Mariam Ghani’s previous projects in Afghanistan have documented the spatial politics of the post-war constitutional assembly, real-estate speculations in reconstructed Kabul, afterlives of former secret prisons, diasporic translators in theatres of war, and forgotten histories of Afghan modernists, artists and intellectuals. What We Left Unfinished is her first feature.

This screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Shahrzad Mojab, a scholar, teacher, and activist, internationally known for her work on the impact of war, displacement, dispossession, and violence on women’s learning and resistance. She is professor of Adult Education and Community Development and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, and currently, the Director of Equity Studies at New College.

Please arrive early as all tickets become void as of 15 minutes before showtime.

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival


Farsi Cinema Centre

Regent Park Film Festival

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