WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED
Director: Mariam Ghani Run Time: 72 min. Release Year: 2019
Starring: Hosain Fakhri, Juwansher Haidary, Latif Ahmadi, Said Miran Farhad, Wali Latifi
WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED brings together newly rediscovered and restored footage from five lost Afghan Communist feature films — The April Revolution (1978), Downfall (1987), The Black Diamond (1989), Wrong Way (1990), and Agent (1991) — with present-day interviews that reveal the behind-the-scenes stories of the filmmakers – including directors, actors, and crew members who often swapped roles- and new footage shot in the same locations by some of the same directors and cinematographers. 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. But it’s also a tribute to a tight-knit group of filmmakers who loved cinema enough to risk their lives for art. Despite government interference, censorship boards, scarce resources, armed opposition, and near-constant threats of arrest and even death, they made films that were subversive and, in the filmmakers’ opinions, constructed fictions that were always “true” to life.