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April 10, 2013 | posted in Filmmakers
Ariana Delawari is an actress, musician, and filmmaker.
She loves each of these roles “so very much [but] for different reasons,” she says. When she makes music, she says that she feels the most spiritual. When acting, she feels the most vulnerable. And filmmaking “is probably the most exciting,” she says.
“I get to create a world, [and] then I get to take an audience into that world.”
Delawari’s film, "We Came Home," takes the audience to Afghanistan.
Her film is a personal story that follows her family’s move from Los Angles to Kabul, where her father hopes to help rebuild his homeland after years of war.
She knew “the second” she got off of the plane there in 2002 that she was going to tell a story, although she wasn’t sure exactly what story it would be. “So I just kept documenting everything,” she says. “I just wanted to experience and absorb everything … I wanted whatever film I made to be a gift to my people, so I had to let it unfold and grow in my heart”
About halfway through her trip, she realized that “the journey itself was the film.” Delawari spent the next 10 years traveling between her hometown and her father’s hometown, documenting the land of her ancestry through photographs, film and music.
“Kabul is like a completely different city from when my father was a child,” she says about the country that her father knew and loved. “He grew up in the most beautiful, safe, clean, peaceful Kabul.”
She says that that the city and its people are still beautiful today, but “there is a lot of destruction and devastation due to several decades of war.”
Today it is a new Kabul. “And we must focus on the opportunities that lie in today's Kabul,” she says hopefully, “and what young Afghans will create together to redefine their home, while hopefully protecting our beautiful ancient culture.”
You will see her deep love for Afghanistan shine through in her film. And she is also a proud American and very appreciative of her freedom here.
“I feel like I'm part of both cultures,” she says. “Somewhere between the wisdom and spirituality of Afghanistan, and the freedom of expression and expanded horizon of America there is a beautiful balance.”
--Anne M. DiTeodoro
Photo by George F. Gund.
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