Movie Review – At Five in the Afternoon

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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Samira Makhmalbaf is someone who has lived the life the way I wanted to live. She quit school at the age of 14 to join her dad’s film institute. After studying there for five years she directed her first feature film ‘The Apple’ at the age of eighteen. Thus becoming the youngest director to have participated in Cannes film festival.


She is very straight forward in her film making. Especially in this film the protagonist is very much a reflection of her. She’s a hard core feminist. In an interview when an American interviewer asked her how did this thought of woman becoming president popped up in her mind? She asked the interviewer back as to how many female presidents they have in their country. It’s the liberation of women from the hands of men she wanted. The interviewer didn’t prod her more seeing her aggression but she made her point clear. When asked about what she doesn’t like she replied that she doesn’t like to have borders. Borders in life, borders in country. Her interview was a treat to watch. Even better than the movie.

The movie’s plot looks simple.  A family of four, Nogreh, her dad, her sister Leylomah and Leylomahs kid live in the ruins of Afghanistan post Taliban’s exile. Nogreh’s father is a religious fanatic who doesn’t allow Nogreh to go to school. She secretly attends secular girls’ school where she first gets the idea of becoming woman president. She is indeed obsessed by the idea of it. She asks to different persons about their president so that she could prepare her speech.

Nogreh as an individual has two different personalities yet she’s highly individualistic in each one of them. In her normal burqa, old shoes look she’s like every woman of Afghanistan who does their house hold chores and settles for day to day life but whenever she wears her white high heeled shoes and opens her umbrella it’s not only the umbrella she opens she opens up her inner self. She suddenly becomes much more confident person. That’s the difference of how she really is and how she wants herself to be.

The whole movie was marred with silence. And all I could do was sit as a silent spectator and watch the proceedings. Kandhar too was similar in set up but more emotional and dramatic towards the end. This movie whereas gives us a feeling of a melancholic poetry.


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