Artist Projects

What We Left Unfinished

Mariam Ghani

During the years of Afghan Communism (1978-1991), Afghan filmmakers shot five fiction features that were never edited or screened. From remnants of these unfinished films, and from the stories of how they were commissioned, produced and canceled by various iterations of the Afghan Communist state, we can reconstruct both the truth of how the state existed and acted in those moments, and also its fictions, desires, fears and imaginaries. In What we left unfinished, Ghani reconnects the original filmmakers with their unfinished works to produce a film about filmmaking that plays on the gaps between the world on-screen and the lived histories around the films. What we left unfinished also considers what it might mean to finish the unfinished projects of the past—both artistic and political—in the present.