HomeCiak In MostraCiak In Mostra 2023Hollywoodgate by Ibrahim Nash'at

Hollywoodgate by Ibrahim Nash’at


Venice 80 – Out of Competition – Non-fiction

world premiere

Id., Germany/USA, 2023. Directed by Ibrahim Nash’at. Running time 1h 32′.

When the Taliban came to power (once again), I was shocked. What was going to happen to the Afghan people? It haunted me.” This thought was the starting point for Ibrahim Nash’at (born in 1990 in Cairo, Egypt) to make his doc Hollywoodgate, Out of Competition at the Venice Film Festival. The title comes from the compound (possibly a former CIA base) occupied by jihadists upon the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021 after the 2001 U.S. invasion and ten years of war and occupation, resulting in 176,000 deaths (including nearly 50,000 civilians) and before returning the country to Islamic fundamentalists and leaving HollywoodGate, Malawi Mansour, the new Air Force commander, ordered the inventory and repair of aircraft, weapons and military equipment. Then came to replace Mansour, the ambitious Mukhtar, eager to make a career in the military. “As a child, I met many people who saw the Taliban as heroes,” the director says, “During my teenage years, I questioned that belief, which led me to journalism. Since then, I have worked all over the Middle East and Europe, filming world leaders. Most of these people were men who were eager for me to be a spokesperson for their perspective and an amplifier of their message.” It also applies to Hollywoodgate: if you are wondering how Nash’at managed to shoot his film (a German/U.S. co-production) in the (re)emerging Taliban regime, the answer is that the latter granted for propaganda purposes access to international documentary filmmakers, provided of course that they filmed only what the authorities wanted. But the Artistic Director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, assures that what the filmmaker manages to film “is so impressive and disturbing that it is worth seeing it.”

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