Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions 35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions Eight Films Submitted for Consideration as German Oscar Entry Eight Films Submitted for Consideration as German Oscar Entry EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

Foreign Oscar Entry Review: Wajma: An Afghan Love Story (وژمه)

Photo of Carlos Aguilar By Carlos Aguilar | SydneysBuzz November 19, 2013 at 1:26PM

Wajma: An Afghan Love Story, Afghanistan's Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : Film Movement. International Sales Agent: Doc & Film International
0
Barmak Akram's 'Wajma: An Afghan Love Story'
Barmak Akram's 'Wajma: An Afghan Love Story'

Wajma: An Afghan Love Story, Afghanistan's Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : Film Movement. International Sales Agent: Doc & Film International


Geographically the Central Asian nation of Afghanistan is partitioned between luscious valleys, snowy mountains and grand desert landscapes. Similarly diverse are the ethnic groups that make up its society, a society with a well-known warring past. Today, these animosities and rivalries are still present, but the real issue that concerns the inhabitants of the country is the way in which the world keeps moving forward in a rapid race towards modernity while they, due to the cultural and economical isolation during the Taliban’s years, exist in an outdated system. The never-ending battle between tradition and change is clearly more vivid now, and multi-talented Barmak Akram (writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and editor of the film) appears to be saying so in his naturalistic and surprisingly revelatory film Wajma: An Afghan Love Story that begins as a quirky romantic comedy but then quickly transforms into a high-stakes drama.

Advising the viewer that the events depicted are based upon several true stories, which is not hard to believe, the film first showcases a side of modern Afghanistan rarely seen on screen. Middle class suburbs, cafés filled with people using their computers, and wedding parties that could easily be compared to those taking place miles away in a Western country. Mustafa (Mustafa Abdulsatar), dressed with the latest fashions from abroad nothing short of a hipster, is a waiter at one of these upscale restaurants in the heart of Kabul.  He has just returned from Iran where he lived during the war and has his eyes set on attractive Wajma (Wajma Bahar), the daughter of a family acquaintance. On her own merit, Wajma is also a reflection of the surging cultural transformation that has occurred after the American military intervention. Unfathomable for a woman just over a decade ago, she is allowed to pursue a career and has just been accepted into the law program at the national university.

Wajma

As it would happen in any given indie feature about love made in the U.S, their relationship begins with flirtatious banter and is followed by the assiduous courtship from Mustafa who even plays the guitar for her when she sneaks into his apartment hiding from the nosy neighbors.  Still, as the title cleverly states, this is a love story governed by a distinctive set of rules that are particular to the Afghan way of living. What started as a playful and tender affair becomes a nightmarish ordeal for the couple after they commit the ultimate offense -- that is, premarital sex. Pregnant and dishonored, Wajma knows her life has no purpose under the established parameters of conduct unless Mustafa marries her to conceal their crime, a proposal that he refuses doubting his evident fatherhood and her virginity before him.

What ensues is a heavy cross to bear for Wajma, since abortion is seen as an abhorrently illegal act in her country, and her father (Haji Gul Aser), who works finding and dismantling mines, would much rather see her dead than living with the stigma her mistake has imposed on the family. Told with a superbly unpretentious and documentary-like style Akram’s film is a journey through the current state of this complicated society. Ironically, one contemporary element that is prominent in the story is the use of cell phones, and they are utilized as tools to uphold the intricate religious conventions by which individuals, and specifically women, must abide.

Led by Wajma Bahar’s disarming performance as a girl who faces an agonizing fate after naively falling for a man who did not calculate the consequences that their relationship could have in her life, and within the context of the world they live in, Wajma: An Afghan Love Story is a compelling small gem. Blending the opposing sides of what it means to be a woman enjoying newly found freedom in present-day Afghanistan and the power of the irrevocable mandates that still prevail as supreme law, director Barmak Akram has delivered an innovative vision of the evolving nature which his country tries to adapt to the future at the same time that it remains grounded on its past, for better or worse.

Read more about all the 76 Best Foreign Language Film Submission for the 2014 Academy Awards


This article is related to: Wajma: An Afghan Love Story, Barmak Akram, Afghanistan , Wajma Bahar , Mustafa Abdulsatar , Haji Gul Aser , Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award , Best Foreign Language Film Oscar , Academy Awards, Oscar Academy Award, International Film Business, International Film Festival, International Film Market, International Sales Agent

E-Mail Updates