20 year old Wajma lives with her mother and brother in Kabul whilst her father is away in Southern Afghanistan working as a mine detector in the war zone. When the family attend a cousin’s wedding Wajma encourages Mustafa a family friend to flirt with her, and afterwards they start to see each other in total secret as relationships between unmarried couples are strictly prohibited in Afghan society.
When Wajma announces to him one day that she has been accepted into Law School, 25 year old Mustafa says ‘lets celebrate and cuddle’. The trouble is he doesn’t actually stop there and when he declares his undying love for her, Wajma lets him have the full package. When this leads to a pregnancy, Mustafa denies he ever made such a statement and he claims as there was no blood at intercourse, Wajma was obviously not a virgin, and that the baby is probably not his anyway.
It’s Mr Akram’s second narrative and a remarkable achievement which won him Sundance’s Best Screenwriting Award no mean achievement in itself. He was greatly helped by the two young lead actors who portray the two ‘lovers’ so effectively and with two equally strong performances from the actors with the more difficult roles of Wajma’s parents.
Asides from the unforgetable violence that is hard to stomach, the one salient overriding thought is that the title was meant to be ironic, for this is a story of lust and hate, as there is not much love at all between these two young people.