Mir is the subject of The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Phil Grabsky's award-winning documentary (VIFF 04) that looked at life in Afghanistan for the infectious eight-year-old and his family. Sensing that there was more to tell--and knowing that the delightful Mir was a once-in-a-lifetime subject--Grabsky decided to continue chronicling Mir's life.

Mir is instantly infectious with his chubby cheeks and boyhood playfulness. In one scene, he giggles as he shows the filmmaker his 'room,' a few blankets arranged in the small cold cave where his family lives. He's prideful of his space despite his family's extreme poverty. This picture of innocence hauntingly sticks with you as the film shows Mir growing up over ten years, his skin roughened and wrinkled even in that short time... Mir's journey into manhood takes place throughout the war in Afghanistan, although the viewer only knows it from audio snippets of news reports and scenes of the family listening to the radio. Only once does Mir meet a couple of Humvees of American soldiers. He's scared of their size and weapons but notices they're scared too. Mir and his family are not victims of the violence of war but rather the other effects of it: a fractured country and a gap in humanitarian aid promised from foreign occupiers. It's a side of Afghanistan rarely seen and one framed in a narrative that depicts the strength of the human spirit

2 min 12 sec


Posted On
October 02, 2011
Phil Grabsky

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April 14, 2011
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