My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan


Screening Lounge Tue, Sep 20 6:30 PM
Screening Lounge Sun, Sep 25 1:00 PM


An epic story of a boy growing up in a land ravaged by war.

September 25

Filmed & Directed by: Phil Grabsky & Shoaib Sharifi.

This film event will include an exclusive update on Mir, the central character of the story (not available anywhere else,) as well as a special pre-recorded Q&A with Director Phil Grabsky exclusive to cinemas.

“Look at the American planes!” shouts Mir – a mischievous boy of eight when the filmmakers meet him. Now he’s a man of 27 with children of his own – and a fledgling career as a news cameraman. He lived through 9/11, when his homeland became ground zero in the war on terror. He has subsequently lived through the unsuccessful war against the Taliban – who have now regained power.

He has never lived in a nation at peace.

This film begins in Kabul on 30th April 2018. A young Afghan cameraman hears an explosion. He grabs his camera and jumps on his moped to dash to the scene. En route, he remembers he has no card for his camera and makes a quick phone call. Two minutes later he returns to the streets. Then – a second explosion. Nine Afghan journalists are killed. The young cameraman’s name is Mir. Is he among the victims?

“Moving and compelling…”  Mail On Sunday “Documentary of the week”  Radio Times

“Touchingly universal…”  Sunday Times “Could not be more timely…”  The London Times

“Epic in scope, but extraordinarily intimate with its storytelling”  Irish Film Critic

Mir and his family form a portrait of embattled Afghanistan that no other film has ever captured. War, politics, poverty, and heartbreak – all seen from the level of a child frolicking in a muddy, bullet-laden pool, playing soccer on a dirt pitch, and forgoing school to work ploughing in the fields, collecting wood from mountain tops, or digging coal in perilous mines, all at subsistence wages to support his family. The innocence and optimism of Mir contrasts with carefully selected contemporary news footage that also offers sobering comments of leading soldiers, politicians, and journalists offering their own insights into what is going wrong and what is going right.