A flickering truth about film in Afghanistan

A flickering truth about film in Afghanistan

With the 10th annual Screen Edge Forum hosted at Park Road this month, the theme of documentary making is exciting local filmmakers and cinefiles. A film from last years forum has gone on to earn a highly acclaimed reputation. Pietra Brettkelly’s ‘A Flickering Truth’, serves its audience as a revelatory document about Afghanistan’s current travails and the fate of the Afghan film archive.


‘A Flickering Truth’ follows Ibrahim Arify, an Afghan film-maker who returns home from Germany to take command of rescuing and restoring the archive in Kabul, which was damaged by the taliban in a violent frenzy. Film, has a special role: as a repository of the history and culture the Taliban tried so hard to destroy. As audience we follow the unstable political climate in the run-up to elections, and get a first-hand view of Arify’s attempt of educating uninformed Afghans.


Brettkelly informatively describes Afghan history, from the gradual liberalisation of the country, to the successive revolutions and civil wars that left the country in turmoil, shaping Afghan film through the 20th century. Film, it seems, is a critical way for Afghans to tell their story, but in such a votaile environment, its place in society has largely been excluded by the ignorance of the population.


Brettkelly’s documentary is a powerful description of the role of film in a nations cultural history. It acts as a voice for those who may not have one. ‘A Flickering Truth’ is a demonstration that film can and always will be a medium of displaying that very thing.


Park Road completed full Digital Intermediate and final Sound Mix services for the film, with Dick Reid undertaking the sound design and editorial.

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