Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: After 30 years of Taliban and wartime rule, pop culture is creeping back into Afghanistan in the form of Afghan Star, an enormously popular American Idol–type contest. Filmmaker Havana Marking follows the dramatic stories of four of the contestants over three months, from regional auditionsAfter 30 years of Taliban and wartime rule, pop culture is creeping back into Afghanistan in the form of Afghan Star, an enormously popular American Idol–type contest. Filmmaker Havana Marking follows the dramatic stories of four of the contestants over three months, from regional auditions to the finals in Kabul, giving us a new, and more human, look at this troubled part of the world. (Zeitgeist Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    One of the most hopeful and heart-rending movies I've seen this year.
  2. Judging from this film, a pop cultural resurgence in Afghanistan seems ultimately unstoppable, even with a resurgent Taliban, if for no other reason than that 60 percent of the population is under 21. Also, this is a country, as we see again and again, that loves to sing.
  3. If you believe that bringing the questionable virtues of "American Idol" to Afghanistan would do that beleaguered nation no favors, the remarkable documentary Afghan Star will change your mind in an instant.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Barsanti
    80
    Wholly one-third of the country, some 11 million people, watched the finale. Marking's film is too astute to pretend that such fleeting things can bring about peaceful democracy, but it's also perfectly aware that they certainly can't hurt.
  5. Of all the films to come out the conflict, Afghan Star is the most provocative, because its message that people are essentially the same is a dubious, double-edge sword.
  6. 75
    Focusing on the contestants who make the initial cut -- two men and two women -- the film can't resist wringing some American Idol-style suspense from speculation about who the eventual victor will be. But the movie also leaves no doubt as to who the real winners are.
  7. Fascinating and, when you see Afghan versions of Simon Cowell and Co. reacting to tryouts, a reminder of how fame and the thirst for it is the same in any language.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 8, 2014
    9
    Una interesante visión sobre la vida en Afghanistan. Es admirable que un programa de televisión sea capaz de unir a gente que ha sufrido y haUna interesante visión sobre la vida en Afghanistan. Es admirable que un programa de televisión sea capaz de unir a gente que ha sufrido y ha odiado tanto a lo largo de la triste historia de ese país. Expand

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