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The story of Buzkashi Boys centers on two best friends—a street brat and a blacksmith’s son—who struggle to reconcile their dreams of playing the sport buzkashi. The film offers a unique glimpse into Afghanistan by way of their friendship, despite the pressures coming from both society and their own impending manhood.

The film is quite a feat, beyond the fact that it’s one of the first international productions filmed entirely in Afghanistan, or that nearby rocket attacks almost claimed everyone’s lives on set, or that the country is run by probably the most corrupt government in the world. What filmmaker Sam French and his team crafted is a beautiful, timeless, coming-of-age story that happens to revolve around a bloody and brutal goat-murdering horse sport.