ASL Interpreted, Open Captions
Afsaneh Salari / 2019 / Farsi with English subtitles / Iran / Philippines / 80 min / North American Premiere
In 1982, 1.5 million Afghan refugees fled the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan. Leaving behind the war of their home, starting their new lives in Iran, The Silhouettes witnesses a family attempting to make sense of their new reality, which presents its own unique sets of challenges. Touching on the effects of war, trauma, displacement and isolation, we go on a journey with Taghi, one of the younger members of the family. Caught between the confining reality of his people’s place in Iranian society and his desire to return to his continually war-ravaged home in Afghanistan, Taghi begins to explore his future, navigating the familial responsibilities in this increasingly precarious situation. Trapped between his suffocating existence in Iran that is rife with discrimination and stigma, while having to face returning to his homeland, still in the midst of war. What future awaits him in each land?
Stray Dogs Come Out at Night
Hamza Bangash | 2019 | Pakistan | Punjabi with English subtitles | 11 minutes
Iqbal, a migrant sex worker, cannot come to terms with his illness. Desperate for respite, he convinces his uncle to take a day trip to the beach. The Arabian Sea beckons.
Living through waves of political reform spurred by transnational interference undoubtedly challenges one’s sense of identity. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 uprooted millions of Afghans who sought refuge elsewhere, including the family featured in The Silhouettes. How might this inherited cultural and geographical displacement be experienced by younger generations of Afghans in Iran or the Afghan diaspora? Is it possible to seek some semblance of resolution by returning to one’s homeland? These issues will be explored in the post-screening Q&A with director Afsaneh Salari. Moderated by Toronto-based filmmaker and programmer Aisha Jamal.