What We Left Unfinished tells the incredible and mostly true story of five unfinished films from the Communist era in Afghanistan (1978-1991) - when films were weapons, filmmakers became targets, and the dreams of constantly shifting political regimes merged with the stories told on screen.

What We Left Unfinished is also a story about a tight-knit group of Afghan filmmakers who loved cinema enough to risk their lives for art. Despite government interference, censorship boards, scarce resources, armed opposition, and near-constant threats of arrest or death, they made films that at times were subversive and, in the filmmakers’ opinions, always “true” to life. All five films completed principal photography before being canceled by the state or abandoned by the filmmakers.

What We Left Unfinished brings together this newly rediscovered and never-before-seen footage with stories from behind the scenes, as told by the directors, actors and crew who made the films, and new footage shot in the same locations. Afghanistans past and present, imagined and real, slip and slide into each other in a film that reminds us that nations are inventions, and films can reinvent them.

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Directed and Produced by Mariam Ghani

Executive Producer Alysa Nahmias
Field Producer Ali Latifi
Edited by Ian Olds
Original Score by Qasim Naqvi

An Indexical Films Production
in Association with Ajna Films
Distributed by Dekanalog

2019 / 72 min

Official Website

Awards & Festivals
Berlinale - 2019 (World Premiere)
San Francisco Film Festival - 2019 (U.S. Premiere)
Sheffield Doc/Fest
Nashville Film Festival
Il Cinema Ritrovato
Goteborg Film Festival
Heartland Film Festival
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Supported by: Creative Capital, Art Matters, Doha Film Institute, New York State Council on the Arts

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© 2022 Ajna Films info@ajnafilms.com
+1 347-693-3564
Twitter: @alysanahmias