SFF 2018: Review – RocKabul

Film festivals are always good for  challenging aspects of life that you may have only seen in a given light. So how’s the heavy metal scene in Afghanistan coming along?

With an Obama pledge of a lazy billion dollars in non-military assistance, a group of kids get together to form a rock band. Then we’re reminded that people who disapprove of rock music are saying that it’s permitted to kill people who play it.

Local Kabul band, District Unknown, ply their wares anyway.

In true punk rock style, they don’t know how to play their instruments, but they’re not letting a small thing like that stop them.

These kids have their own challenges, one has little family, another who does have family, but his brother is disabled. There’s also overseas study opportunities. They don’t seem to know much about music at all and there’s no venue for them to practice or perform.

But despite these extraordinary hurdles they keep on going. Slowly festivals and band venues start opening up as the Taliban influence wanes.

They also go through the experiences that all bands go through. Getting kicked out of rehearsal spaces, being nervous, band member departure, arguments (sometimes over life and death), performing their first gigs, finding mentors, recording songs, making proclamations like, “Damn those who ruin our country!” And religious conservatives who call for their deaths.

This is an amazing insight on people trying to get on with their lives, pursuing their dreams in inspiring acts of resilience.

Michael Collins


RocKabul screens Friday June15 & Saturday June 16 at Sydney Film Festival

Friday 15th of June, 2018

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