Since ancient times Central Asian shepherds herding their animals between pastures frequently faced attacks from wolves. To save their flocks brave horsemen would chase and grab the wolves, a skill that eventually evolved into a sport – the wolf replaced by a goat carcass. Playing among a mass of 200 horsemen, players demonstrated their individual strength, courage and honor by maneuvering through the scrum to carry the carcass across the goal line.
Azam lives in a small, dusty village in southern Tajikistan. He is a shepherd and one of the country’s best Buzkashi players. Following the tradition of his forefathers he plays as an individual, eschewing help from other players to win sheep, cars, carpets and cash. His winnings have helped him maintain a good life for his household of 30 people – his two wives, 10 children, parents, and families of two absent brothers. But times are changing.
What They're Saying
“Part road movie, part coming-home story, this feature-length documentary follows two young men as they return to Afghanistan in search of their families. Amir and Soorgul were torn from their childhoods 16 years ago by occupying Soviet forces, who shipped them out of the country. We see flashbacks of Soviet tanks, hear radio reports of today’s war and soak in the breathtaking landscapes as the two men try to make it home on very different paths.”