Metascore
78

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

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8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 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 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. 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.
  2. 80
    Afghan Star goes much deeper, eloquently conveying the tensions, small victories and shattering setbacks of a fragile democracy struggling to regain a once-flourishing culture.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 75
    The show works pretty much the same as "Idol" does, with Afghans voting by cellphone for their favorite performers. But this is Afghanistan, where the Taliban still has power, not America.
  6. 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

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