This film was shot during two trips that
Majid Majidi took in Western Afghanistan
in 2001 and 2002.
In the first trip in November 2001, Majidi visited the refugee
camp of MAKAKI
in a Taliban controlled area and MILE 46, another small camp
situated in a Northern Alliance held area. This was just after
the offensive against the Taliban forces had started. People
were fleeing away from the air raids on Kandahar, Herat and others
cities and villages. The second trip took place in February 2002
in the city of Herat now freed from the Taliban and in the hunger
stricken camp of MASLAKH,
one of the largest in the world.
The film first relates the journey of Afghans refugees fleeing
the bombing and war around Herat and other cities to take refuge
in ill-equipped camps. It witnesses the struggle of families
having lost everything and attempting to secure a minimal life.
Faced with cold, hunger and death, Afghan children still try
to learn, play and enjoy whatever life offers them. In the aftermath
of the fall of the Talibans, the film explores the city of Herat
where it captures the reactions of the city dwellers expressing
their memories and their hopes. Forgotten in the nearby camp
of MASLAKH (Slaughterhouse) 150,000 displaced Afghans hardly
hunger, anger and despair prevail. And yet, amid the overwhelming
destitution and the daily quest for survival, the desire for
joy, beauty and music is still alive. Majid Majidi interviews
peasants, soldiers, youngsters, women, elderly and gives a special
attention to the children's extraordinary resilience as they
are confronted with the emotional and physical turmoil of war.
"Barefoot to Herat" is a cry for help and an ode to