Denmark, 2007, 58 min, VIDEO
In English / Farsi with English subtitles
North American Premiere
In attendance: Andreas Mol Dalsgaard, Director
Danish director Andreas Mol Dalsgaard's relentlessly entertaining documentary follows the most popular sport in Afghanistan: male bodybuilding. And this is not the Afghanistan of your nightly news.
Just check out the hilarious scene at a qualifier for the men's national team: competitors strut their stuff in spray-on tans and Speedos while robed, bearded men squeal like teens stricken with Beatlemania. Dalsgaard tracks the athletes as they train for the Mr. Asia championships, capturing a multitude of surreal moments. A sponsorship takes the form of a dozen eggs a day, protein powder is smuggled like drugs and "Arnold" is referred to often, on an exclusively first-name basis. Beyond its incredibly appealing characters and thrilling plot, this film offers something we don’t often see: the Afghan perspective.
While America remains largely ignorant of the people who live in the countries we are "fighting for," Dalsgaard offers us an invaluable reminder that such a place actually exists.
This screening is part of the American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival 2007. For details on the festival and tickets visit www.afi.com