Ariana tells the story of a film crew that sets out to visit the Pandjshêr Valley in Northern Afghanistan. Described in classic Persian poetry as a “paradise garden”, the impenetrable nature of the valley and its lush, fertile landscape have set it apart from the rest of the country and encouraged a history of independence and resistance. The film considers how the specificities of a landscape help to determine its history. As the crew is unable to film the valley from a vantage point in the surrounding Hindu Kush mountains, the film becomes the story of a failed project that prompts a process of reflection about the “panorama” as a form of strategic overview, as a cinematic camera move, and about its origins as a pre-cinematic mass entertainment.
Shot in: Valley of Pandjshêr and Kabul, Afghanistan, August and October 2002
Director of photography: Tom Townend
Editor: Ida Bregninge
Sound: Aurelien Bras
Executive producers: Julie Gonssard Process: Éclair, Joinville, France