Tora Bora, a film directed by Walid Al Awadhi, premiered on August 23rd at a private screening event. I was privileged enough to be able to attend and watch the film, which turned out to be honestly mind-blowing. It breaks every Kuwaiti cinematic stereotype, and goes beyond the average Middle-Eastern expectations. I think it will definitely spark a lot of controversy, with good reasons. It touches on several political and religious aspects that the story boldly addresses, conveying the reality that many Muslims and Arabs all over the world are experiencing but refusing to speak up about. Everyone had been concerned that the film would not be approved by the Ministry of Censorship, but they all came to a mutual agreement that the film had to be shown in full-length; nothing would be censored.
The main plot of the story revolves around a middle-aged Kuwaiti couple — played by Saad Al Faraj and Asmahan Tawfeeq — on a long journey of torment to Tora Bora, in hopes of finding and bringing back their 22-year-old son, Ahmed. Ahmed joined the Taliban in pursuit of “Jehad” in the name of God and Islam. He was brainwashed into believing terrorism was the path to righteousness, and would guarantee him a place in heaven should he ever sacrifice his life for the sake of what they believe is defending his religion. He is surprised to learn that there is nothing to defend. They are killing ruthlessly, bombing schools and raping young girls. But once he’s in, there is no way out. And from there, the plot unfolds.
The red carpet event on the 23rd was well-organized by Cinescape. The whole cast was there, as well as a number of other Kuwaiti celebrities who showed up to support this phenomenal event, including Mohammed Al-Mansour and Mansour Al-Mansour.
The actors of the film are Saad Al Faraj, Sulaiman Al Bassam, Khalid Ameen, Asmahan Tawfeeq, Qais Nashef, Al Araby Al Sassy, Abdullah Al Tarawa, Yasine Ahjam, Abdullah Al Zaid, and several other upcoming actors.
Watch the trailer here:
Walid Al Awadhi is in the process of turning this film into a TV series as well.
I highly recommend you book your tickets on August 27th through the Cinescape website for the film’s release on the first day of Eid. It’s not a film that anyone should miss. It has even participated in the Cannes Film Festival 2011; I cannot do the film’s quality or story justice using just my words.