Afghan Cycles

Not rated yet!
Director
Sarah Menzies
Runtime
1 h 30 min
Release Date
29 April 2018
Genres
Documentary
Overview
Afghan Cycles is a feature documentary about a generation of Afghan women who are pedaling their own revolution, aggressively challenging gender and cultural barriers using the bicycle as a vehicle for freedom, empowerment and social change.
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VJ Morton1
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • Afghan Cycles, 2018 - ★½

    AFGHAN CYCLES (Menzies, USA, 2018, 3)

    The film kicks off with a few seconds from a couple of network-news segments on the Afghanistan women’s cycling team and legal limits on women bicycling in the country. For the first hour, AFGHAN CYCLES never goes deeper than those network news segments. It’s straight interviews, illustrative footage and scene-setting telling you nothing that you probably wouldn’t have learned from the original 90-second news segments or a single statement from the Human Rights Watch activist who’s used as a talking head. I spent that first hour nostalgic for the middle section of Meshkini’s THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN and got so frustrated with the film’s journalistic inertia and rah-rahism that I actually wrote in my notes “can we please actually see some Taliban oppression or something more than a sideways glance?” Don’t get me wrong — I’m accusing nobody of making stuff up. But it just isn’t good enough *for the purposes of making a movie* to have interview subjects describe difficulties that we never actually see. Show don’t tell applies just as well to non-fiction as to fiction. AFGHAN CYCLES gets better as it goes along (it’s still only a 3, so take from that what you will) — we do at least see a Taliban being interviewed, and more relevantly a provincial-head imam explains that Islam doesn’t bar women from bicycling, but ... however … Regardless, what gives the film some value is the last half-hour when — finally — some visible drama happens. The team encounters some difficulties, both at home from Taliban gains and from what happens when some of the women go abroad. There’s even a germ of a good movie in that latter thread and had I been the producer or director, I would have shifted focus from the initial plan; I’d’ve FOUND the film. But that AFGHAN CYCLES wouldn’t fit nearly so snugly into the Human Rights Film Festival niche that the AFGHAN CYCLES we have is so transparently aiming for.

    ...
    (Review Source)

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