“If I keep working, I’ll fail at school. If I keep studying, I’ll lose my job.” The son of a car mechanic reveals the uncertainties that he’s dealing with, and he isn’t the only one. In contemporary Afghanistan, everyone is struggling to fathom what the future will be like—understandable in a country that has been ravaged by war for decades.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Longley (Iraq in Fragments) has found an effective form to explore the divisions in society and collective concerns. Young and old, men and women: they all voice their thoughts in the soundtrack, as the camera shows ruined neighborhoods and cold classrooms. Nevertheless, the message isn't without hope, and a sense of optimism shines through.
Based on personal recollections and ambitions, Angels Are Made of Light shows where Afghanistan has come from, where it is today, and where it needs to go. In devastated Kabul, education and religion are a source of stability, and young people in particular seem to have the courage to imagine a new future for themselves.