Far from Afghanistan

Director: John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Soon-Mi Yoo, Travis Wilkerson Run Time: 129 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2012

A Special Benefit Screening for Community Supported Film’s Fund for Afghan Evacuation and Resettlement

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the War in Afghanistan. It’s only been two months since the fall of Kabul, but already our mediascape and national consciousness have left the remnants of our longest war behind. Continuing the DocYard’s retrospective of John Gianvito’s work, we are presenting a special benefit screening of Far from Afghanistan. An omnibus by five American filmmakers known for their political cinema and Afghan Voices, a collective of young Afghan video journalists trained by Community Supported Film, the film both diagnoses and works against militarist intervention and collective forgetting. Inspired by the Chris Marker-guided 1967 film Far from Vietnam, the individual segments of Far from Afghanistan delve deeply into the war’s toll on Afghans and Americans alike and are bolstered by interstitial reporting and interviews conducted by members of Afghan Voices. Each segment’s distinct vision and artistic approaches, drawn from the segment director’s established filmmaking practice, are unified under the editorial touch of Gianvito, Pacho Velez (The American SectorThe Reagan Show), and Rob Todd. More than a record of protest or critique of American propaganda, Far from Afghanistan puts collective documentary practices in service of a multivocal and distributed activism.

The screening will be preceded by Treasure Trove, a short film by Fakhria, and followed by a Q&A with John Gianvito and Michael Sheridan (Community Supported Film).

Community Supported Film’s (CSFilm) vision is driven by the knowledge that peace, prosperity and democracy depend on a well-informed citizenry. Their mission is to help citizens make responsible decisions about their community, country and world by providing access to stories rooted in local perspectives.

CSFilm has worked in Afghanistan since 2009, training, mentoring and collaborating with journalists and documentary filmmakers. In 2021 CSFilm initiated Afghanistan21-LookListenLocal – only a few single-shot films and stories were released before the Taliban takeover and the international withdrawal.

Now, CSFilm urgently needs resources to support their Afghan colleagues. In normal circumstances, any initiative that contributes to the brain drain of a country is anathema to them but, in this case, CSFilm is dedicated to doing everything possible to save and rebuild their colleagues’ lives.

Please contribute to this effort and/or other worthwhile efforts that will help people face the physical, mental, and financial challenges of leaving everything behind and resettling in a new country.

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