Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad In Afghanistan

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad In Afghanistan


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Or... Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me This Film Would Give Me A Headache? Joking aside, this is for lovers of experimental film only - since it is more akin to a work of art than any sort of clear narrative.

It is, allegedly, the first ever feature to be shot entirely on mobile phone. The effect is pretty good, for the first 15 minutes, with the grain - blown up to fill cinema screens - giving the action, such as it is, an impressionistic feel. When people appear, the technique also becomes reminiscent of rotoscoping, a la Richard Linklater - maybe he could have just shot everything on his mobile and saved the budget. Then again, maybe not.

Copy picture

Stylistics aside, I guess you're wondering about the plot. I think I'd better let the Tribeca Film Festival organisers give you the scoop as they see it: "Virtually without dialogue, the long extended sequences of a war veteran's observations of the world around him, colored by his traumatic experiences in Afghanistan, bleed into beautiful shots of abstraction."

Does this come across in the film? No. There are shots of abstraction - enough, in fact, to drive one to distraction - and some of them are interesting, but beautiful? That's a reach. Equally reaching is the Afghanistan assertion. What we have here is, essentially, Cyrus Frisch experimenting with his phone while in his Amsterdam flat. Most of us would just take a few pictures of the cat mucking about or our housemates in compromising positions but Frisch turns his attentions to the streets outside, capturing what I presume he believes are disaffected youths as they go about disaffectedly. And, that's it.

If this was a 10 minute short, you'd be tempted to applaud the audacity as a brave experiment - as a 70 minute feature, the only thing you'll be clapping is your hands over your eyes as you reach for the aspirin.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2007
Share this with others on...
The world's first mobile phone feature.

Director: Cyrus Frisch

Writer: Cyrus Frisch

Starring: Cyrus Frisch

Year: 2007

Runtime: 70 minutes

Country: Netherlands


Tribeca 2007

Search database: