It’s snowing in Kabul, and gregarious waiter Mustafa charms a pretty student named Wajma. The pair begin a clandestine relationship—they’re playful and passionate but ever mindful of the societal rules they are breaking. After Wajma discovers she is pregnant, her certainty that Mustafa will marry her falters, and word of their dalliance gets out. Her father must decide between his culturally held right to uphold family honor and his devotion to his daughter.
Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) offers us a more complex and nuanced portrait of contemporary dating and the role of women in middle-class Afghanistan than we’ve been permitted to see before onscreen. Wajma Bahar’s dynamic intensity in the title role is matched by the powerful work of Hadji Gul as her foreboding but conflicted father. Beginning his story as an intimate romance, filmmaker Barmak Akram shifts the focus to the volatility in Wajma’s home after her secret is divulged, ultimately revealing an Afghan family just as capable of cruelty—and forgiveness—as any in the world. - H. Z.
About the Director
Barmak Akram was born in 1966 in Kabul. He received diplomas from three major art schools in France, including the École nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts. Besides directing several short films and documentaries and two full-length features (Kabuli Kid premiered in 2008 at the Venice Film Festival), Akram is also a musician, songwriter, and composer. He is an autodidact with a deep knowledge of two very different cultures and works between his distinct worlds—Kabul, where he runs his production agency, Kabuli Film, and Paris.
Cast and Credits
Director: Barmak Akram
Screenwriter: Barmak Akram
Editors: Barmak Akram, Herve de Luze, Isabelle Ingold
Composers: Barmak Akram, Matthieu Chedid, Susheela Raman
Sound Design: Pascal Villard, Jean-Paul Hurier
Producer, Cinematographer: Barmak Akram
Principal Cast: Wajma Bahar, Mustafa Habibi, Hadji Gul, Breshna Bahar
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