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average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

May 16, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Elham Ehsas
Written by:
Elham Ehsas
Afsaneh Dehrouyeh, Ahmad Jan Mano, Elham Ehsas

In August 2021, the Taliban overtook Afghanistan. This short drama explores the aftermath.


It is a busy market in Kabul and a young woman (Dehrouyeh) is looking to purchase her first chadari. He enters a clothing shop and requests one from the assistant (Ehsas). He helps her make the right choice, gives her advice and is quite helpful. She does not seem to be fond of the garment and appears to realise that her life is changing.


This film is about a turning point in a woman's life, following the Taliban's conquest of Afghanistan. It is obvious that it is the first time she is wearing a chadari, as she does not know how to put it on, which highlights the change that she is going through. Through her eyes, the audience sees a procedure that many women in Afghanistan are going through: getting a chadari for the first time and entering a new stage in their life. The screenplay calmly examines the procedures that the heroine undertakes in order to obtain a chadari and thus (in some ways) go through a transformation and become another person, a person who the Taliban approve of.


The film dramatically points out some of the effects of the Taliban takeover. One is the degradation of women, which is explored through Dehrouyeh's character and a television news broadcast about the strict laws applied by the Taliban regarding women wearing a chadari. Another is the banning of music, which is briefly shown through Ehsas' character.


One part that stands out is a dance scene that feels almost magical thanks to slow motion and creative editing by Ehsas and Ross Leppard. Director of photography Yiannis Manolopoulos does a great job with the cinematography and commendations go to Jessica Holme for the costumes. An effective point-of-view shot places the viewer in the heroine's position, helping them feel how she feels.


This film is a poignant and hard-hitting commentary about the Taliban's seizure of Afghanistan, how it affects the people of that country, particularly women. It provides an insight into the current situation, painting a bleak vision of the future.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film, World Cinema
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