Empowering Films of Afghanistan: “Meetings with Remarkable Men,” "Afghan Star,” & “The Beauty Academy of Kabul” (In Dari)
Greeting, caring viewers, and welcome to Cinema Scene. Today, we will take a look at three movies filmed in Afghanistan depicting true stories from the lives of exceptional individuals.
Our first featured film is called ‘Meetings with Remarkable Men.’ Directed by Peter Brook, it is based on an autobiography with the same name by an Armenian mystic and spiritual teacher, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. It chronicles the experiences of a Truth seeker, committed to finding his purpose in life.
First released in 1979 in France, the film ‘Meeting with Remarkable Men’ was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear Award. The majestic mountains and deserts of Afghanistan convey a visual beauty that reflects the wonders and mysteries of Gurdjieff’s quest. This film is surely a thoughtful screen adaptation of a person’s spiritual awakening.
Our next movie is ‘Afghan Star.’ Directed by Ms. Havana Marking ‘Afghan Star’ is a documentary film named after the television series that is bringing music, along with joy and harmony, to the entire nation. ‘Afghan Star’ is a Pop Idol-style singing contest brought forth by Tolo TV to bring out the next generation of music stars. It is a favorite in Afghanistan, as proven by testimonials of citizens across the nation. Indeed, millions of people, of all gages, genders, and ethnic groups are watching and casting their votes for their most loved singer of ‘Afghan Star’ via mobile phone.
The documentary follows the dramatic journeys of four ‘Afghan Star’ contestants as they compete in the show, from regional auditions to the final round in Kabul three months later. Through humor and excitement, this film offers insight into the courage and spirit of the Afghan people. Viewers gradually see how music is uplifting the nation and fostering peace and appreciation.
Released in 2009, ‘Afghan Star’ is an inspirational film that tells a powerful story of hope for the future. It won the Audience Award and Directing Award, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Our final movie is ‘The Beauty Academy of Kabul,’ a creative documentary directed by Ms. Liz Mermin. The film introduces a group of outspoken hairdressers from the United Stats who came to Afghanistan to open the country’s first beauty school in the 21st centry, the Beauty Academy of Kabul. This is the story of 20 Afghan women and their teachers through a three-month curriculum on the latest fashion techniques in hair cutting, coloring and perming. The course shows the development of close friendship and sisterhood between people of very different cultural background.
Upon release in 2004, ‘‘The Beauty Academy of Kabul’ received many encouraging reviews from top USA newspapers and magazines. The humor and humility of the women, as well as their loving interactions, are both touching and empowering. Through ‘The Beauty Academy of Kabul’ audiences become acquainted with the profound courage and resilience of the wonderful women of Afghanistan.
It was a pleasure having you join us for this episode of Cinema Scene. Up next on Supreme Master Television is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, after Noteworthy News. May all be blessed with Heaven’s light and love.