Despite the news and twenty years of war in Afghanistan, Three Songs for Benazir short film captures the essence of a person’s life in a wartorn country as he looks forward to marriage, career, and life.
Here is the official synopsis:
The story of Shaista, a young man who—newly married to Benazir and living in a camp for displaced persons in Kabul—struggles to balance his dreams of being the first from his tribe to join the Afghan National Army with the responsibilities of starting a family. Even as Shaista’s love for Benazir is palpable, the choices he must make to build a life with her have profound consequences.
LRM Online’s Gig Patta chatted with filmmakers Elizabeth Mirzael (director/producer), Gulistan Mirzael (director/producer), and Omar Mullick on the project. We discussed the documentary subjects Shaista and Benazir, the living conductions, filming production, and the song Shaista sang for his fiancee at the time.
Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei are an Afghan-American filmmaking team. They make films recognized for their intimacy, rare access, and how they challenge perceptions of Afghanistan. Their first feature film, Laila at the Bridge, won numerous festival awards, including at CPH:DOX, Locarno, Bergen, and Santa Barbara film festivals.
Omar Mullick is known as the director and cinematographer of the 2013 feature film These Birds Walk. The film was named as one of the best films of the year by New Yorker Magazine, Indiewire, and Sight + Sound Magazine. Later, he was involved in several projects, including HBO’s The Vow and CNN’s food travel series Nomad. In 2021, he was a screenwriter and cinematographer in his first fiction film Tu Me Resemble which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Three Songs for Benazir is currently playing on Netflix. The short film is on the 94th Oscars shortlist for Best Documentary Short Subject. It made its premiere at Full Frame, in which it won the Jury Award for Bst Short. Also, it won jury awards at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Odense Film Festival, and the Middle East Now.
Watch the exclusive interview with Elizabeth Mirzael, Gulistan Mirzael, and Omar Mullick below. Let us know what you think of the interview.