- Title: Afghan-born director tells refugee story in "I Am You"
- Date: 24th August 2021
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHAN-BORN AMERICAN FILMMAKER AND ACTIVIST, SONIA NASSEREY COLE, SAYING: "COVID happened and I was so upset. Why isn't it coming out why isn't it coming out? Now that it's coming out I see that the timing of it is so important for the world. Probably this is the last movie you'll ever see, or at least for 30 years from Afghanistan because art is forbidden by them (the Taliban), filmmakers are forbidden by them, actors, actresses, they kill them and they chop their feet off so it's not going to happen."
- Embargoed: 7th September 2021 16:59
- Keywords: "I Am You" Afghan-born American filmmaker Sonia Nasserey Cole Afghanistan Taliban conflict movie
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA004ERN4DHJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An Afghan refugee embarks on a dangerous journey across five countries in director Sonia Nassery Cole's latest film "I am You", with echoes of scenes of people desperately trying to leave Kabul now.
The Afghan-born filmmaker and activist, who herself fled Afghanistan as a 15-year-old for the United States in the 1980s, tells the story of Masoud, whose father is killed by Islamic State, as he seeks safety abroad alongside a pregnant doctor and elderly man.
Cole made "I Am You" in 2018 and early 2019, inspired by refugee stories and with some scenes filmed in Afghanistan. She says its release in June, delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is timely.
"Now that it's coming out I see that the timing of it is so important for the world," Cole told Reuters.
"'I Am You' is exactly what's happening to Afghanistan now ... This is about a young boy, a pregnant 25-year-old girl and an old man that leave Afghanistan because they are in different ways threatened," she said.
In the past week, Kabul airport has been thronged with Afghans trying to get onto evacuation flights following the Taliban's takeover, fearing reprisals and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law the group practised when it was last in power.
The group has sought to assure the thousands of Afghans crowded into Kabul airport in the hope of boarding flights that they had nothing to fear and should go home.
The filmmaker, known for "The Breadwinner" and "The Black Tulip", said she was working to help bring people to safety after having calls from Afghans still in the country.
"I'm working with many groups and I have saved quite a few already to come here and these are journalists, these are people whose lives are in extreme danger and I want to save more and I want to be able to tell their stories," she said.
(Production: Ilze Filks, Marie-Louise Gumuchian)
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