If you didn't catch Story of Burqa the first time round, here's your chance! The film screens a second time on Sunday at noon. Details are below:
Story of Burqa: Case of a Confused Afghan by Brishkay Ahmed
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Sunday, May 13 12:00pm
Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St & Helmcken, Vancouver BC
Tickets available at: www.doxafestival.ca
The film answers the questions: Who wears the burqa? Who wants them to wear it? And who has historically supported or opposed it? As importantly, what is it like being under the veil?
Brishkay and Chris Hind (Sound, Music) discuss the making of Story of Burqa:
BRISHKAY: I'm not that serious of a girl, no matter what subject it is. I like simplicity, but I come from a political background and I find politics very funny, and manipulative, and a little bit evil.
There's one part in the film, where there's Brezhnev, an interesting character in Afghanistan's history. We animated him, but I wanted to make him more silly. He's such a strange character. He slurs, and I know that's because of his muscle, or maybe he drank a lot. We couldn't find audio that made sense. Chris came up with this concept...
CHRIS: I thought of Winston Churchill, who was synonymous with a bulldog. I have a good sound effect album, but their sounds don't cut it. Brezhnev is this huge character. I found these attack dog sounds, German shepherds or something, and I put them in there.
We had a pretty good feel of how the film should look and feel, etc. Only one animation ever really changed, and that was the [women in burqa dancing the] can-can. Originally I'd taken it and dissected the notes, and it had that can-can feeling. Then Brishkay decided we should take that down a notch. I had established a Middle Eastern feel with the oudh, and we thought we should stay consistent with it.
This documentary is like a feature documentary film. There's a scene where I created a battle scene and there's at least 30 tracks of audio.
BRISHKAY: The reason the stock footage comes alive is because of the music and sound effects Chris put on it.
CHRIS: Originally, Brishkay wanted me for my modern sound. But when I was figuring it out thematically I said we can do some of the Western feel but we really need to keep some of the Middle-Eastern feel. For this I wanted to do real live instrument music. I wanted an instrument that really spoke to Afghanistan, and a friend of mine had an oudh, a traditional Afghan instrument, like a work of art. The trouble for me is that everything's made of wood and there are no frets, so I as a Westerner found it difficult. I taught myself to play it elementally.
There was a real conscious choice on all of our parts to make this documentary 'wham-bam'.
For more on the film and a video interview with the filmmaker on InDepth, go to: Brishkay Ahmed: Story of Burqa.