A freelance reporter, Saira Shah, decides to visit an Afghan scholar in Tahman, the home town of her father and her family. Departing from an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan, Shah and her colleagues arrive at the last point, Tahman, via Kandahar, Kabul and Mexican. On the journey, Shah and her companions discover a RAWA street demonstration, public executions in a soccer field, women in their burqas forced to beg in Kabul, and a beauty salon, primary school and hospital which have no choice but to operate illegally. Then, going via Mexican, an area of tribespeople who oppose the Taliban, Shah reaches her family home town, Tahman. From his childhood her father remembered trees with fresh fruit and a fountain in a garden like Eden. However, she can not find either a garden or a human being-the war has left behind a bald and silent mountain alone in the transformed Tahman. A hidden camera and anamorphic lens lets the viewer watch the real lives of Afghans closely and sensitively. The film, which is organized into three sections, presents a hell on earth to those who cannot imagine hell. (Kim Sun-ah)
Saira ShahSaira Shah
A freelance journalist, Saira Shah was born in Britain from an Afghan family. She first visited Afghanistan at age 21 and worked there 3 years as a freelance journalist, covering the guerilla war against the Soviet occupiers. Later, working for Britain’s Channel Four News, she covered some of the world’s worst trouble spots. Since January, 2000, she has worked as a freelance television reporter on documentaries for Channel Four including Unreported World: Market of Death; Dispatches-Beneath the Veil. Shah has also made another documentary on the Taliban, Unholy War(2001), the sequel to Beneath the Veil.