Afganistan. 88 min. 2017
Five decades of political turmoil in Afghanistan are seen through the eyes of a hapless kite maker, the middle generation of a doomed dynasty.
Arian loves kites but a changing Afghanistan stands in his way. When the Taliban take power and ban kite flying, he all but gives up on his passion. However, to give his daughter Seema a sense of childhood that he once had, Arian risks his life to find and fly kites.
An Afghan refugee who emigrated to Canada before studying film at UCLA, writer-director Tarique Qayumi revisits his homeland’s tumultuous recent past with Black Kite. World premiering in Toronto, Qayumi’s second feature is an intimate family drama set against a widescreen historical canvas. It stars one of Afghanistan’s best-known actors, Haji Gul, and was partly shot in Kabul in low-key guerrilla style to avoid attracting unwelcome attention from the Islamist factions that still hold sway in parts of the country.
Tarique Qayumi was born in Afghanistan and went to Canada as a refugee in 1983. He graduate school at UCLA, where he completed his Screenwriting MFA. While in Afghanistan (2011- 2015) he wrote, directed and produced “Truth Unveiled”, Afghanistan’s first docudrama series; “The Defenders”, a drama miniseries, as well as Afghan “Sesame Street”. His first feature film, “Targeting” was directed in Los Angeles: a psychological-thriller about a female American soldier who returns home from war. “Black Kite” is his second feature: he wrote, directed, edited, and shot the film. He received both a grant from Canada Council for the Arts and as well the British Columbia Council for the Arts. “Black Kite” premiered at TIFF in 2017.