Hassan Fazili, who has created a significant amount of stage plays, hard-hitting documentaries, short films on pressing issues, and a few TV shows while he fought for existence in Afghanistan, had to flee the tormented country for a more secure place in Europe. The Afghan filmmaker, like the tiny film fraternity in his native country, feels the cultural future of Afghanistan is now more uncertain than ever.
Even if we just pray or hope that the common Afghanis won’t have to face any execution or arrest, there’s simply no denying that the culture, cultural aesthetics or movement will stop. Filmmaking or performing art seems to be on the verge of destruction now. Why am I fearing this? The reason is quite simple. We are well aware of the Taliban policies. They just want to destroy these cultural activities. It has been a taboo for them. For instance, the Taliban fails to accept that women too, can go outside and take part in social activities on their own,” the noted filmmaker shares with ETimes.
Incidentally, Fazili has had his own share of the horrific experiences while confronting the Taliban. They even declared a bounty on him seven years ago and the talented filmmaker had to escape the country. The final nail in the proverbial coffin came just after his documentary ‘Peace in Afghanistan’, which profiled Taliban commander Mullah Tur Jan, who had surrendered to the then government, was telecast on Afghan TV. It led to the murder of the documentary’s protagonist, while Fazili and his team members started receiving death threats. He had no other choice but to leave his home country with his family. What started after that was a painful journey – a three-year-long journey into the heart of Europe. Fazili didn’t let his spirit down, instead, he filmed his journey on mobile phone cameras and it was turned into an extraordinary documentary – the 2019 film ‘Midnight Traveler’ which earned accolades later.
His other films like ‘Mr. Fazili’s Wife’ and ‘Life Again!’ both have pushed the envelope on pressing issues of women, children and the disability rights in Afghanistan, winning awards at several international festivals.
Times of India