The Prince of Nothingwood review – magical and intrepid

Afghanistan 0 Comment 2

Afghanistan’s most prolific director literally puts his life on the line to make movies, as seen in this riveting and hilarious documentary

In the current release The Disaster Artist, James Franco celebrates the tale of Tommy Wiseau, who realised his dream of getting a movie made when all the odds were apparently against him. Yet Wiseau made his 2003 “disasterpiece” The Room with seemingly endless financial resources, in the heart of Hollywood, where all the perks and luxuries of modern cinema were available to him and his crew. Would he have been able to pull it off if he’d been shooting on the fly in war-torn surroundings with nothing but his belief in the power of B-movies to see him through?

Meet Salim Shaheen, the “most popular and prolific actor-director-producer in Afghanistan” (which he laughingly calls “Nothingwood!”), who has made and distributed more than a hundred movies, working on shoestring budgets, undeterred by rocket attacks, riots or religious fundamentalism. As he embarked on his 111th feature (or perhaps 114th – he seems to be making at least four films simultaneously), first-time feature director Sonia Kronlund decided to join him, travelling from Kabul to Bamiyan to see if she had “missed something” in her previous reports from the region for French public radio and TV. How could a land so riven with strife have provided the backdrop for such prolific creativity?

Many of the crew are war veterans who have no qualms about using live ammunition on set

Related: Saba Sahar: ‘Afghan women are capable of doing anything men do’

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Link : The Prince of Nothingwood review – magical and intrepid


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