Afghan Children’s Documentary Gets Award From Busan, South Korea

Busan,South Korea : Twinkling without Shining, a documentary about the vanished childhood years of Afghan displaced boys, wins “The Best Documentary” award, from Busan New Wave Short Film Festival, 2022, Busan, South Korea.

Busan was listed as a UNESCO City of Film in 2014. The jury of BNWSFF, in a statement wrote; “we are extremely pleased with the rich diversity and high caliber of projects like yours. The review committee was impressed by the excellence and mastery of artistic and cultural techniques applied in your important work.”

Twinkling without Shining is about the young Afghan refugees who have been living in makeshift shelters, on the sidewalks of different business and residential neighborhoods of Karachi. They make their living by hand picking recyclable items from the waste heaps, on the streets of Karachi.

The documentary portrays the story of the lost childhood of migrant Afghan children, with their ages between six and eighteen, who have sought shelter in Pakistan, owing to decades of perpetual war and ceaseless volatility that brought hunger, disease and poverty, in the neighboring Afghanistan.

These Afghan children earn two to three hundred rupees, roughly 2 USD, a day. They prefer to buy their own food instead of relying on free meals, as per their stories, such food is substandard, which makes them sick. And illness hampers their work, as they have to buy medicine from their own pocket, because local hospital treatment does not bring any cure or relief.

These children do not share the nature of their job with their parents in Afghanistan. Baraan, an Afghan refugee boy confided, “if I ever tell my mother about my work, she would die of heartache. So, I lied to her that I wait tables in Karachi.” Darweza, a 15-year-old Persian speaking boy, hails from the northern Afghan metropolis, Kabul, lives with his 7-year-old brother, Bari, on a pavement in Saddar town, Karachi, recounted his ordeal, “I cannot even get a work at a tea stall, as I got no identity or referral”, so he and his younger brother, deal in junk trade. Darweza says, “the duty of tending my parents is on my shoulders.” Zaman, a Pashtun boy aged 16, from the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, lives with his siblings, in a overcrowded shack, along the railway track of Chanesar Halt, narrated, “it is the compassion of Pakistanis that I and my eleven member family, were let to live and work here, otherwise, no other country welcomes us. If we were not in Pakistan, we would have long died of starvation.” He maintained that he was never intimidated in Pakistan, but nowadays “the spiraling inflation has turned life miserable”.

Khalid Hasan Khan has directed and produced this documentary film, which was co-produced by Mohsin S. Jaffri and Syed Owais Ali; with Zahid Raja as the director of photography. The filmmaker told, “earlier this documentary has won three international awards; ” The Best of Festival Winner” from the 7th Annual Nassau Film Festival (Princeton, United States), “The Best Documentary Award” from the 5th Annual Golden Wheat Awards (Istanbul, Turkey) and “The Best Human Rights Award” from the Korea International Short Film Festival (Seoul, South Korea)”.

Leave A Reply

You cannot copy content of this page