Ustad Rahim

© Baily
55 minutes / Colour / 2008
Directed by
John Baily

Country of production United Kingdom

Shot in the city of Heart, western Afghanistan 1994, in the period between the fall of the last leftist government and the coming of the Taliban, this is a portrait film of an outstanding musician, Ustad Rahim Khushnawaz. He was a master of the Afghan rubab, a double-chambered plucked lute with sympathetic strings. Using the observational cinema style the film shows Ustad Rahim in various contexts. These include a guided tour of the photos in his music room that recount his musical career, being at home with his wife and children, showing off his pigeons, erecting the tombstone for his father’s grave, and teaching and playing the rubab. Of particular interest is the gormani ritual, a gathering of musicians where Rahim accepts a new student.

Language and subtitles Original Language with English Subtitles

Region South Asia

Country Afghanistan

Keywords Music / Ethnomusicology Education / Knowledge Transmission Personal Narrative