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[CRITICAL] WOLF AND SHEEP

First film of the young afghan woman Shahrbanoo Sadat, WOLF AND SHEEP is a portrait of a community of villagers in the mountains of afghanistan, outside of time, outside of war, off kind.

Prix International des Cinemas Art & Essai CICAE at the directors ‘ Fortnight,WOLF AND SHEEP is a singular film, and terribly alive to discover absolutely.

Child, Shahrbanoo Sadat has lived seven years in a village in the mountains afghan before you go live to Kabul and subsequently become a director.WOLF AND SHEEP relies on memories of the filmmaker to immerse ourselves in the heart of a rural life made of simple gestures. Shahrbanoo Sadat says the shock was for her change of life, when she left Iran, where she lived as a refugee afghan woman and settled in this mountain village. It is also said that it was kind of mocked because of his poor eyesight, which gave him an air the left, because she fell often and could not wear his glasses under the penalty of being considered blind by the community (it is found in the character of Sediqa). His desire was to share these slices of life, far from the clichés about Afghanistan, filmed in the tradition of a cinema of truth, dear to Jean Rouch , who founded Les Ateliers Varan , in which the filmmaker is in the past.

The film starts on the sacrifice of a sheep of this community of shepherds to honor the death of one of their own. Each movement is filmed with precision, camera on shoulder, announcing from the outset the search for authenticity, but also the willingness of the filmmaker to give an important place to the everyday actions, like so many rituals that punctuate their lives. Therefore, it’s difficult to summarize this movie because this is not the story that matters (there is no real scenario or frame), but the capture of scenes of life within this community.

Shahrbanoo Sadat films the relations between people through their games, their traditions, their daily tasks, the violence that unites them sometimes and the austerity of this life away from the world. Here it is the simplicity that prevails. Women isolate their home-based cow-dung, the children play with their sling to kill the time that passes, the girls act out a fake marriage, smoking in hiding, men and children look to the herds. The film attempts to film the amount of time that permeates behind every gesture, evoking the essence of life : to eat, live and dream before leaving to escape a new threat (because if you feel remote, the mountains are also the ground of the civil war ever so far).

WOLF AND SHEEP is not like any movie. This could be a documentary as his approach to film appears to be instant and real. No emphasis or music. And yet it’s not likely ever to be in a work of fiction, one feels all the work of staging without, however, feel the aspect reconstituted. Shahrbanoo Sadat explains that she has had to improvise artistic director for re-create the decor that she wanted – the film is finally shot in Tajikistan because it was too dangerous for the team to carry it out in Afghanistan – and be closer to his memories. Her gaze is both very subjective and documented. It also introduces a part legendary to his film based on the stories told by the shepherds, such as the one of the wolves who threaten the flock of sheep the day and transforms at night into a witch green walking around naked. The director filmed this appearance almost mystical as a souvenir evanescent, a legend that everyone can appropriate and interpret in its own way. It thereby takes up the oral tradition of legends that are handed down to the infinite as many ways as there are narrators.

WOLF AND SHEEP is therefore more of a film that translates the memory of a little girl become great in a period of his life where mingle in a jingle the gestures of the people the legends that rock. The reality itself becomes legendary in the sense that it’s just a reality of memory is that of a child short-sighted. A movie prodigious of a filmmaker to follow.

Anne Laure Farges

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