Watander, My Countryman: Film screening and Q&A
Films & Screenings

Watandar, My Countryman: Film screening and Q&A


Sun 27 Aug 2023


3.30 pm – 5.30 pm


2 Hours


Bunjil Place Studio

Join us for a screening of this very special film with connections to Bunjil Place Gallery exhibition ngaratya (together, us group, all in it together), followed by a Q&A.

When former Afghan Refugee Muzafar Ali, discovers that Afghans have been an integral part of Australia for over 160 years, he begins to photograph their descendants in a search to define his own new Afghan-Australian identity. Then the Taliban take over Afghanistan and his old country comes calling.

Following the screening, Barkandji/Barkindji artists and Afghan descendants Raymond Zada, and sisters Nici Cumpston and Zena Cumpston will share family stories with the filmmakers, in parallel with their exhibition ngaratya (together, us group, all in it together) currently on display at Bunjil Place Gallery.

About Watandar, My Countryman

In 2015 photographer and Human Rights Activist Muzafar Ali is resettled in Australia, and becomes the first in five generations of his family to no longer be a refugee. When he discovers that Afghans have been in Australia for 160 years he’s compelled to photograph and document the stories of their descendants.

Then, on August 15th 2021, the Taliban take over Afghanistan. With his homeland lost, he’s driven to help and reaches out to his former colleagues, whose lives are in danger. They share macabre jokes over Facetime – “the Taliban headquarters is in their old office across the road. Would you like to see?” – but underneath their desperation is obvious. He tries to help them escape, but he also knows that millions will be left behind and he must do everything he can to keep their hope alive.

His photography project becomes an even more personal journey as he recognises, in the Descendants, his own search for a new Afghan-Australian identity. He finds them in all walks of life; Ken and Larl who worked on the famous Ghan train, Frank a member of the stolen generation, and Nici the renowned art gallery curator. They each represent a possible future for his daughters. Meanwhile, his friends from Afghanistan are caught in ever more terrifying incidents and Muzafar provides us with a first-hand perspective on their experiences.

Finally, in June 2022, Muzafar and his family travel to the famed Camel Cup in Marree to share a curry with their new friends. They have found a new home, with their Watandar. The trouble in Afghanistan, and Muzafar's commitment to help, is ongoing.



Adelaide Film Festival World Premiere Reactions

“I loved it! I had tears in my eyes from probably the first 30 seconds. Muzafar is the most grateful, positive person I’ve ever met.” - Andrea Michaels MP, Arts Minister of South Australia

“A wonderful piece of cinema and docuoration & Adelaide Fringe Festival

“A journey through sadness, hope and sparkling laughter. What a beautiful film!” - Becc Bates, Director Creative Industries, Dept Industry, Innovation & Science - South Australia

“A new view of Australia’s multicultural society, its rich history and a genuine perspective on the situation in Afghanistan and its humanitarian catastrophe.” - HE Wahidullah Waissi - Australian Ambassador of Afghanistan

Image: Frank Wilson (Cameleer Descendant) and Muzafar Ali in Lyndhurst. Credit Katrina Penning



Sunday 27 August 2023
3.30 pm – 5.30 pm


Free - bookings essential