Far From Afghanistan, the documentary feature directed by Associate Professor John Gianvito, is screening soon at two high–profile film festivals, including one overseen by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Michael Moore.
Gianvito said it is the third time one of his films has been chosen by political filmmaker Moore to appear at his festival.
“I have been very touched by the gesture of support,” said Gianvito, of the Department of Visual and Media Arts. “There is no one who has done more to prove the commercial viability of documentary film, and more significantly, politically engaged documentaries.”
While the Traverse City festival describes itself on its website as simply committed to showing “just great movies,” the Cinema of Resistance in New York is dedicated to “a weeklong survey of politically charged films from around the world,” according to a press release.
“Unless you have a personal connection to it, you can go weeks or months with almost no cognizance that we’re involved in a major war,” said Gianvito, who will be co-curating at Cinema of Resistance.
Far From Afghanistan is described as a modern update of the 1967 film Far From Vietnam, consisting of five brief vignettes focused on guilt-ridden troops, shattered families, and detached Americans—interspersed with on-the-ground interviews with Afghan civilians. It depicts a nation blind to the longest war in its own history, a description reads.
The film had its first U.S. screening last spring at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Gianvito teaches several film courses at Emerson, including the Cinema and Social Change curriculum he helped design to further political filmmaking at the College. The majority of his work in film has concentrated on the political sphere, including the semi-narrative The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein, addressing the Iraq War, and the two-part documentary For Example, The Philippines.