Exclusive Interview with Afghan-American Documentary Filmmaker Ariana Delawari

Ariana Delawari is a woman of many talents: musician, actress, photographer, and with her new documentary "We Came Home", she's now an inspiring filmmaker. The world may already know her name due to her psychedelic folk debut album, ?Lion of Panjshir?, which garnered a lot of positive press for its combination of classical Afghan music and American rock & roll. Her new documentary "We Came Home" shows the making of the record (in Afghanistan and Los Angeles) and lends a completely new understanding to Delawari's music. The documentary, like the album, also tells the story of Delawari's struggles with the political climate of a post 9/11 Afghanistan, and the enduring hope and love that prevails in a world of extreme uncertainty.

Delawari was born in Los Angeles the same year the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, her home filled with Afghan music, Madonna music videos, and political commentary as her father, Noorullah Delawari, fought for his homeland by organizing demonstrations and lobbying Congress. In 2002, her parents returned to Afghanistan, where her father rose to the head of the Afghan Investment Support Agency and become an advisor to President Hamid Karzai, ultimately helping the country institute their own banking system. Her mom, who speaks six languages, did her part by working for the United Nations. It wasn't until 2003 that Delawari visited her parents in Kabul, Afghanistan for the first time, documenting everything she came across.

"We Came Home" ignores sensationalism, instead focusing on her family and the people she met on her musical journey. Not only telling the story of her album (which was released on David Lynch's record label), "We Came Home" tells the love story of her parents and how they came to meet. Using old footage and family interviews, Delwari weaves a generational story of family and how they stick together no matter what. She films Kabul with love and excitement, showing the passion and joy in everyone she meets, creating a love letter to the country and a relatable story that works as a bridge between Afghanistan and America. The film just premiered at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival and won the Jury Grand Prize for Best International Documentary, starting Delawari's bright future as a filmmaker.

In this interview Delawari chats about how music brings people together in a way nothing else can, how her family dealt with her filming them, working with David Lynch, the emotional effect the success of her album had on her, and what's coming up next for her in the future. lltitle=Ariana Delawari Talks the Personal Messages Within Documentary "We Came Home"### llcontent=You may know Ariana Delawari's name from the positive press she's gained from her debut album, ?Lion of Panjshir?, but now you'll know it from her very first documentary "We Came Home". Telling the cross-generational story of her parents and juxtaposing it with Afghanistan, Delawari has created an intensely personal film that bridges the gap between Afghanistan and America.

Mila Pantovich

An avid traveler, Mila Pantovich splits her time between San Diego, CA and Banff, AB Canada. She has been working with JustLuxe as a writer and editor since 2012 and has been featured in several publications, including Huffington Post. Additionally, she works in content design at Intuit. Follow her travels on Instagram: @MilaPantovich ...(Read More)

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