The Orphanage

Qodrat sleeps in a scrapped car wreck, and peddles key rings and scalps cinema tickets in Kabul. The year is 1989, during the pro-Soviet days of Afghanistan, something this 15-year-old stray dog seems fairly unaffected by. His main concerns are food for the day and Bollywood cinema, not necessarily in that order. In a bid to escape harsh reality, delving into a fantasy world full of sturdy heroes, fair damsels, romance, music and bright colours is a bare necessity – for Qodrat and many like him.

But soon, reality hits back. Qodrat is busted for his illegal activities and brought to a juvenile detention facility known as “the orphanage”. Run by the Soviet regime, here the young urchins are given living quarters, put in school and gently nudged towards being good little comrades. For Qodrat, it’s a clear upgrade. He gets regular meals, new friends and a bit of an education. Even the Russian teacher seems nice. Let’s face it: the key ring/ticket racket wasn’t exactly booming.

The Orphanage is the second part of a planned pentalogy, whereas the first Wolf and Sheep won the main award in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2016 and successfully conquered the arthouse circuit.

  • Program
  • Original title
    Parwareshghah
  • Director
    Shahrbanoo Sadat
  • Producer
    Katja Adomeit
  • Writers
    Shahrbanoo Sadat
  • Photo
    Virginie Surdej
  • Actors
    Anwar Hashimi, Quodratollah Qadiri, Karan Jeet Singh
  • Playtime
    1 h 30 min
  • Year
    2019
  • Country
    Denmark, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Afghanistan, Qatar
  • Age limit
    15
  • Production
    Adomeit Film, La Fabrica Nocturna Cinéma
  • Distributor
    Luxbox