News / Asia

    Film Industry Returns to Afghanistan

    A scene from the Afghan movie, Black Tulip, released on 23 Sept 2010 (Dave McFarland)
    A scene from the Afghan movie, Black Tulip, released on 23 Sept 2010 (Dave McFarland)
    Ira Mellman

    Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul was the scene Thursday of something that hasn’t happened there in quite some time.

    It was the premiere of a motion picture about Afghanistan, filmed in Afghanistan

    Just a few months ago the busy street outside of Kabul’s Ariana Cinema was the scene of a pitched battle when suicide bombers blew themselves up in a coordinated attack on the center of the Afghani capital.

    Thursday, people flocked to the Ariana to attend the premier of 'Black Tulip,' a movie conceived and directed by Afghanistan native Sonia Nassery Cole.

    The movie explores the struggles of a Kabul family that sets up an open mirophone poetry corner in the city after the ouster of the Taliban government in 2001.

    'Black Tulip' was partially filmed in Afghanistan amid the war waging around it.

    Cole knew it would be dangerous, and it was. Reports detail that two weeks before filming was scheduled to begin, militants located her leading actress and cut off both of her feet. Not able to find a replacement, Cole decided to fill the role herself. She is not an actress. In fact, she is the chairman and founder of the Afghanistan World Foundation, a charity dealing with the plight of refugees along with women’s rights.

    Now, her film has been submitted by Afghanistan as a possible Academy Award winner for best foreign film in the Oscar competition.

    Cole says she has already been rewarded.

    "Oh my God, I want an Oscar. I came here in the middle of the war, shot a movie and nobody got hurt. I made it back home alive and brought it back here and here everybody is watching it tonight. That is my Oscar. If the Oscars would be gracious enough to nominate this film and win something it will be a win for my country, for Afghanistan."

    Cole says in making the film, she didn’t want to focus on just the war. She said “I wanted to tell a real story about the people who dream and who hope the way we do."

    How was the film received?

    Afghan film maker Mahmood Hashimi was in the audience. He said “"The movie is incredible in general, it is a great production and interesting and it keeps you interested."

    At one time, Afghanistan had a thriving film industry, but the Taliban banned motion pictures and closed and destroyed the country’s theaters.

    You May Like

    Greenpeace Leak: US-EU Trade Deal Would Favor Corporations

    Activist group leaks classified documents to 'shine a light' on talks that could create the world's largest bilateral trade and investment pact

    Video Ethiopia's Drought Takes Toll on Children

    East African country’s crops failed in 2015, creating food shortages for 10 million – including 6 million children whose development may be compromised

    What Your First Name Reveals About Who You Vote For

    People named Chad are more likely to be Republicans and Jonathans are usually Democrats

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora