Directed by Jawed Wassel
Review by Laimah Osman - Kara Williams
A vast landscape stretches to eternity. A dark night finds a little boy running from his home.
Cut to: New York City 2000. Haris, a stylish Afghan-American artist living in
Haris, played by Baktash Zaher, is haunted by re-occurring flashbacks of his homeland and he seeks out other Afghans to make sense of his own story which is tied to one of largest diaporas in our time.
FireDancer was written and directed by Jawed Wassel, who was brutally murdered soon after the film premiered in
FireDancer is a fictional story based on very real insight into the lives of displaced Afghans in
Gossiping voices are heard as we travel along a row of houses in
Throughout the film Wassel deals with the restrictions of patriarchy as it exists in Afghan culture. The female characters struggle with their intentions to be assertive without breaking ties with tradition. Laila works as a fashion designer, an occupation that is often seen as the common work of a"tailor" by Afghan standards, yet is regarded in
The story culminates when Haris reconciles his past and proclaims: "Afghanhastum," I am Afghan.
From an Afghan-American perspective, FireDancer is a success. Although Mr. Wassel takes on too many issues for one film his story remains an engaging, poetic and haunting tribute to the Afghan-American experience. This film attempts and succeeds in exposing so many issues connected to what it means to be Afghan and American today.