Frame by Frame

Close Up
Director: Alexandria Bombach, Mo Scarpelli | Year: 2015 | Length: 85 min
Language: null with English subtitles | Certificate: null

When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, taking a photo was a crime. After the regime fell from power in 2001, a fledgling free press emerged and a photography revolution was born. Now, as foreign troops and media withdraw, Afghanistan is left to stand on its own and so are its journalists.

Set in a modern Afghanistan bursting with color and character, FRAME BY FRAME follows four Afghan photojournalists navigating a dangerous media landscape as they reframe Afghanistan for the world, and for themselves. Through cinema vérité, powerful photojournalism, and never-before-seen footage shot in secret during the Taliban regime, the film connects an audience with four humans in the pursuit of the truth.


Without overplaying the risks that these photographers are taking the film is nonetheless a subtle portrait of the personal risk and struggle involved in giving Afghanistan – and it’s women – a human face.


Well lensed and smoothely edited throughout, revealing some beautiful images of a country known mainly for conflict.


A useful insight into the day-to-day challenges and questions faced by photojournalists in a fragile post-conflict state, and freedom of the press in general.

Entertaining / Gripping

Deliberately light-touch in approach to what could easily have been a grief-stricken narrative, but with moments of real affection and pathos.

Viewer discretion advice

Contains brief footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing.

a work of profound immediacy The Hollywood Reporter
beautifully shot The Austin Chronicle
SXSW, Best Documentary

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