Where Do We Belong

   24 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

Following The Red Card I saw Where Do We Belong, a film about the life of Afghan refugees and their Iranian brides. The movie consists primarily of interviews with Afghan men and their Persian brides, sitting in their homes with their families. The first half of the film takes place in Iran, and examines how the Afghans are treated by the Iranians. None of the Afghans are considered proper Iranian citizens, even if they were born their. Their children are also without rights. (If an Afghan women marries a Persian man, then their children are proper Iranian citizens.) Basically, life in Iran if you are an Afghan kind of sucks. (I have a hunch that life in Iran sucks in general, but I haven’t lived there myself.) The later half of the film looks at the lives of Afghans who have been deported back to Afghanistan. I’m not sure what this part of the film was supposed to convey. There are dog fights, polygamy, child marriage, and lots of ignorance and abject poverty. So, life in Afghanistan seemingly sucks more than life in Iran. The second half of the film seemed like a showcase of the ways in which Afghanis are so provincial — if Iranians held a low opinion of Afghanis before, I don’t think the film does anything to change that. Where Do We Belong was shot quite well. The director has a good eye. Like many Iranian films I’ve seen, its pace is very slow. Where Do We Belong was an interesting movie.

Where Do I Belong was the 5th film I watched at Hotdocs 2008.

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