DER Documentary

Amir: An Afghan Refugee Musician's Life in Peshawar, Pakistan

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by John Baily
sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute
black and white, 52 min, 1985

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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Between 1973 and 1977 John Baily carried out extensive ethnomusicological fieldwork on the urban music of Afghanistan, particularly in the western city of Herat. In 1985, he traveled to Peshawar to film Afghan refugees who were musicians and again met his old friend Amir Mohammad, from Herat.

The film portrays aspects of Amir's life as a refugee - his living conditions in Peshawar and his longing to return to Herat. It is also about Amir's life as a professional musician and his relationships with other musicians in Peshawar. Musical performances include resistance songs at a Pakistani wedding.


"It is a poignant production. The plight of refugees comes through and should leave no-one indifferent." — Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, UN Co-ordinator Operation Salam

Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Award of Excellence, Society for Visual Anthropology, 1989
Prix Special de Jury, Bilan Ethnographique, Musee de l'Homme, 1986

Related Resources
Study Guide

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