Phil Grabsky, director of the popular Exhibition on Screen art films shown at Harbor Theater, and his co-director Shoaib Sharifi, have just won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for Best Documentary of 2022 for “My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years In Afghanistan,” an epic story of a boy growing up amidst the ravages of war in one of the most embattled corners of the globe.
We are privileged to show this film as a free event for members only Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. Wine and cheese will be served starting at 6:30 p.m.
Phil, who was here in May to introduce one of his art films, “Raphael,” will not be able to be here in person, but he will send a video introduction to the film. Those who heard him speak will remember his thoughtful insights into the films he produces.
“My Childhood, My Country” is a moving film to see as we commemorate the 21st anniversary of 9/11 and consider life in Afghanistan today, one year after the US withdrawal of its troops. It runs 1 hour and 34 minutes.
When we first meet Mir in 2002, he is a boy of eight playing amongst the ruins of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in war-torn rural Afghanistan, treating the destruction around him as a wonderful playground. Mir and his family form a portrait of Afghanistan that no other film has ever captured. War, politics, poverty, and heartbreak – all seen from the time Mir was a child (riding on a donkey, frolicking in a muddy pool, playing soccer on a dirt pitch, working in a coal mine to support his family), to being a young married man with three children and a job as a television cameraman in Kabul. In those 20 years, he has never lived in a nation at peace. Though some progress was made towards modernization, now that the Taliban have regained power, have things really gotten any better for the young man who now rides a motorcycle, with a camera in one hand and a mobile phone in the other?
As Phil said in his recent interview on BBC about the BAFTA award, “When people go to a movie, they want to be entertained, and maybe learn a little something along the way. Mir was a great subject because he loved the camera, he was constantly entertaining, constantly dramatic, constantly adventuresome ... and through him we are able to gain an understanding of the people of Afghanistan as they lived through the last 20 years of war. –“Deeply moving” - The Hollywood Reporter; “Touchingly universal…” - Sunday Times; “Could not be more timely…” - The Times
Please join us for this special evening at Harbor Theater. If you are a member, go to the film’s post on www.boothbaycinema.org and click on the link to get free tickets. That way you will be assured of having the number of seats you request. You can also sign up in the theater lobby during open hours.
If you are not a member but would like to become one, please go to www.boothbaycinema.org and click on “Membership” to join.
The Harbor Theater is at 185 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor.