Afghan Star - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Afghan Star Reviews

Page 1 of 3
June 13, 2010
For all the dramatic pull of the competition and insight into current culture and politics in Afghanistan, it's a bit of a shame that the film itself is such a dry affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
June 24, 2009
If you think it's impossible to underestimate the cultural significance of American Idol, go see British filmmaker Havana Marking's documentary about its Afghani imitator.
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
June 27, 2009
Entertaining and pointed, reveals the cultural, political, and social power of an old-fashioned televised talent show in a country where voting is a newfangled notion.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Lance Gould
Boston Phoenix
July 30, 2009
Director Havana Marking's work is quite moving, particularly when it follows two of the three women who compete with nearly 2000 male applicants for the title.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mike Scott
Times-Picayune
July 17, 2009
A pleasantly uplifting film, one built upon hope and the strength of the human spirit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Whitney Borup
Film Threat
December 15, 2009
An inspiring, fun documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Sarah Cohen
Time Out
March 27, 2009
And while its style and structure conform to the well-worn template established by docs like 'Spellbound', its success lies in creating an accessible, fun way into serious issues.
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
June 28, 2009
A lively, compelling and illuminating documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.0/10
Top Critic
Chris Barsanti
Hollywood Reporter
June 23, 2009
Although sadly rife with gut-clenching moments as those, Afghan Star is most thrilling when depicting the show's delicately balanced effort to bring Afghans together despite their fractious ethnic and clan boundaries.
Anton Bitel
Film4
March 28, 2009
Using popular culture as a window onto the hopes and fears of contemporary Afghanistan, Havana Marking's winning documentary is worth making a song and dance about.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
June 29, 2009
If you think American Idol is a cultural phenomenon here, imagine its impact on a country devastated by 30 years of internal strife, religious intolerance, civil war and foreign invasion.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
June 29, 2009
This is about an Afghan culture that is at a real turning point.
Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine
June 22, 2009
Afghan Star sets out with a delectably postmodern agenda.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl
September 18, 2009
...by the end of the 88 minute journey you'll learn more about contemporary Afghanistan than you will from a month of watching television news in the United States.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
June 26, 2009
Simon Cowell does Kabul!
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times
August 21, 2009
An informative documentary revealing how decades of war and years of Taliban repression have fallen to the wayside, however briefly, as Kabul's answer to American Idol seduces a violence-weary Afghanistan.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 26, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Beth Accomando
KPBS.org
September 5, 2009
Marking has a good eye for capturing the contradictions of Afghanistan.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews
March 16, 2010
The film is both optimistic and depressing. This film is about a real war with real deaths that is going on in Afghanistan and one of the battlefields of that war is a pop music contest on television.
Full Review| Original Score: 8/10
Jennifer Merin
About.com
October 6, 2009
Afghanistan's version of American Idol shines a spotlight on a culture in transition. Fascinating -- especially when it comes to the experiences of the woman who's risking her reputation and social standing in order to sing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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