At Five In The Afternoon

A young woman in a nomadic family in post-Taliban Kabul, grudgingly permitted by her father to attend a religious school, sneaks off instead to a secular school, where she expresses her dream of becoming president of Afghanistan and inspires a poet trying to woo her to print up her campaign posters. This is 23-year-old Samira Makhmalbaf’s third feature; it won the jury prize at Cannes, but it’s far less exciting than her first, The Apple. Attractively shot, it has moments of wit and poetry (the title comes from Lorca) but arguably adds less to what we know about contemporary Afghanistan than her 14-year-old sibling Hana Makhmalbaf’s documentary about its casting, Joy of Madness. In Farsi and Dari with subtitles. 106 min. (JR)

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