This describes the harsh life of Taliban-era refugees living in the caves around the destroyed, 1,600-year-old Buddhist shrine of Bamiyan in Afghanistan. It focuses on smiling eight-year-old Mir, camera-cute but pugnacious. Following the four seasons, we are made privy to the conditions suffered by Mir's extended Hezzara family (his 60-ish father Addul, his prematurely aged mother Mirwari, his half-hidden half-sister Gul) as they await the possibility of a house of their own. The film captures the startling contrasts between the beauty of the surroundings and ugliness of these people's poverty, but its decision to present the political and historical context mainly through the family's (sometimes uninformed) words and snippets of World Service news, while leaving footage of visits by ministers and aid agencies without comment, makes for a finally unsatisfying result.
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