Programmed by Lysa Heurtier Manzanares
French, English, Dari
Seventy miles from Kabul, Salim Shaheen, Afghanistan’s most popular and prolific actor-director-producer has come to show some of his 110 films and to shoot his 111th while he’s there. This journey in which he leads his gang of actors, each more eccentric and uncontrollable as the next, is an opportunity to get to know this great movie lover, who relentlessly makes his B-grade films in a country that’s been at war for more than thirty years. Teh Prince of Nothingwood tells the story of a life spent making a childhood dream come true.
A word from Tënk
Salim Shaheen’s eccentricity is matched only by his devotion to cinema. Dramatising painful episodes of his childhood and the poverty ravaging his war-torn country, his unbridled passion seems to be a survival tactic. This personal catharsis affects the country’s entire population, even the Taliban fighters who condemn cinema but who watch movies nonetheless.
“Hollywood, Bollywood and Nothingwood. Afghan cinema is nothingwood” Salim tells us. But in this “nothing”, this lack of anything, nestles reality, the inhabitants he gets to act in front of the camera and the stigmata of wars in the natural scenery. The baroque and grotesque aesthetics of Bollywood films that spice up Salim’s films encounter things that are hidden from view. The fictional images tend to blur with images from reality, defying death so as to keep living, laughing and loving.
Lysa Heurtier Manzanares