Although Kabul Express has been much hyped in India and the movie's director says it got a warm reception in foreign film festivals, some western critics have panned it. "Treating the ongoing struggles in Afghanistan with crude indecision and larky silliness, Kabul Express at once lamely revives buddy road pics and trivialises global politics," said Daily Variety, the bible of the US film industry.
The last Indian film shot in the country was Khuda Gawah (God's Witness), in 1982. However, the Taliban's arrival saw theatres in Afghanistan shut down and some turned into mosques. Actors fled abroad or gave up working.
Apart from cinema in Persian, Pashto cinema is also flourishing in Afghanistan. Several Pashto language films have been made since the fall of the Taliban. Several Pashto films have been made by foreigners like "Good Morning Afghanistan" (2003) by Camilla Nielsson.
Zolykha's Secret (2007), (Rahze Zolykha in Persian) is also among the first feature films from post-Taliban Afghanistan. Lyrical and tragic, the film has played to full houses at major film festivals. The film's director, Horace Ahmad Shansab, trained young Afghan filmmakers and made the film entirely on location in Afghanistan.
Making of Kabul Express; For authenticity, real mujahedin were used in the film.
This song was shot at the site of the ‘Bamiyan Buddhas’ in Afghanistan; the Buddha statues were later destroyed by the Taliban during their conflict with the US, to ‘teach’ the US a lesson.
Starring two of Bollywood's most marketable men, model-turned-screen star John Abraham and comedian Arshad Warsi, as well as American, Afghan and Pakistani actors, with a million-pound production budget, Kabul Express has been screened at high-profile film festivals in Toronto and Dubai.
Lone Survivor – 2013 Restrepo – 2010 Armadillo – 2010 The Beast of War – 1988 Osama – 2003 The Tillman Story – 2010 Battle for Marjah – 2011 9th Company – 2005 Kajaki – 2014 Hell & Back Again – 2011 Korengal – 2014 Holligans At War – 2010 The Hornet’s Nest – 2014 Jarhead 2: Field of Fire – 2014
The film's director and writer, Kabir Khan says that it took just two weeks before the Taliban sent death threats to the movie set.
Few Bollywood movies that have been shot in Afghanistan include Dharmatma, Kabul Express & Agent Vinod
Shot over 45 days in and around Kabul, the Bombay film crew arrived in September last year during the resurgence of Taliban violence that saw three suicide bombings and the beheading of an Indian construction engineer.
Many foreign films were made within Afghanistan, including Hindi films like Feroz Khan's Dharmatma and Khuda Gawah, and the American film The Beast.
The seventies was a great decade for tourism in Afghanistan, and filmmakers just loved the dramatic terrain of Afghanistan. Omar Sharif filmed ‘The Horsemen’ here in 1970 and then Bollywood heart-throb Feroz Khan shot Dharmatma here. Dharmatma (Godfather) was a remake of ‘Godfather’ where Feroz Khan replaced Italy with the stunning locales of Afghanistan.
Starring: George Dzundza, Jason Patric, Steven Bauer, and Stephen Baldwin
The beginning scenes in the movie were shot at DASHT-E-MARGO desert, Afghanistan.
"I was told by the Indian ambassador in Kabul that there was a five-man death squad sent by the Taliban. Everybody was pretty nervous. The Taliban wanted to send a message that you cannot have a normal life here. But the Afghan government really helped. They gave us 60 armed commandos and we used to roll around in 35 SUVs. In fact we looked like a militia."
In October of 2001, we dropped the first bombs inside Afghanistan, and the cameras started filming shortly after. What can I say, there’s something exciting about combat that motivates filmmakers and puts people’s asses into seats.
"Mumbai studios are looking for new stories and new ways to tell them. This is a movie shot in Afghanistan, about Afghanistan. You know Hindi cinema goes to New York or London but [the plot] is not concerned with issues relating to America or London. Instead the film is about Indians. [Kabul Express] is as much about the Afghan people."
Emaan (2010), After much await and public demand, EMAAN film was finally screened at Reading Cinemas in Australia. This is the first time an Afghan Film to be screened at a Cinema. Emaan - the winner of 2011 South Asian Film Festival (Canberra Australia) for Best Story and Best Film.
Indian-Afghan ties have also been on a high since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Delhi is one of the country's biggest donors, with an aid budget of $650m (£330m), and Indian companies are rebuilding roads and schools.
This was the first feature film to be shot extensively in Kabul, Afghanistan, after the end of the Taliban’s reign. The movies has several scenes showing the Green Palace (KABUL), Bala Hissar fort (Kabul), Darul Aman palace (KABUL) & Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan
Documentaries have been made in Afghanistan since the Taliban, most notably 16 Days in Afghanistan by Mithaq Kazimi and Postcards from Tora Bora by Wazhmah Osman.
Here’s the song ‘Kya Khub Lagti Ho’ from the movie, Music by Kalyanji Anandji, Watch out for Hema Malini, who looks stunning in the movie.
Their tasks: remove the Taliban, hold all ground seized, build infrastructure and governance, and transfer control to Afghan security forces.
The first color films produced by Afghan Film in the late 1960s were ‘Run Away’ (Faraar), ‘Love Epic’ (Hamaasa e Ishg), ‘Saboor Soldier’(Saboor Sarbaaz), ‘Ash’ (Khakestar), ‘Last Wishes’ (Akharin Arezo) and ‘Migrating Birds’ (Paranda Mohajer). These films, although not as technically proficient as those from abroad, struck a chord with Afghans because they mirrored their life. However, cinema was still seen only in the larger centres.
Made in 1975, this was the first Bollywood film to be shot in Afghanistan, much before the major upheaval started. Made by Feroz Khan (whose films seemed to be way ahead of the times & way too stylish), Dharmatama shows us an unspoilt & beautiful Afghanistan.
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Films Shot In Afghanistan
Embedded with the troops, award-winning London Times Journalist Ben Anderson provides an intimate, sobering look at the realities of counterinsurgency warfare and combat on the ground.
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In the 1970s and 1980s, it was not difficult to get women to act in films. The war and the Taliban rule changed the situation. Today women are increasingly represented in the cinema of Afghanistan. Talented actors like Leena Alam, Amina Jafari, Saba Sahar and Marina Gulbahari have emerged over the last decade.
This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana
The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan a documentary shot by award-winning British director Phil Grabsky was released in 2001 and went on to win awards worldwide.
Barmak's first Persian/Pashtu film Osama (2003) won several awards at film festivals in Cannes and London. Siddiq Barmak is also director of the Afghan Children Education Movement (ACEM), an association that promotes literacy, culture and the arts, founded by Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The school trains actors and directors for the emerging cinema of Afghanistan. In 2006 Afghanistan joined the Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Film Festivals Confederation.
A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg – or your life.
Although Hindi movies are very popular in Afghanistan, Bollywood's joie de vivre did not appeal to the Taliban's austere moral code and the Islamic government banned the films.
Afghan Film also known as Afghan Film Organization (AFO) is Afghanistan's state-run film company. It was established in 1968 and the president is Latif Ahmadi.
The invasion of Afghanistan provided tons of ammo for a host of documentaries, as well as Afghanistan films inspired by true stories.
When the Taliban took power on 1996 in Kabul, cinemas were attacked and many films were burnt. The Taliban forbade the viewing of television and films and cinemas were closed, either becoming tea shops or restaurants or falling into a state of disrepair.
This list of the Best Afghanistan War Movies represents the brutality of war as experienced by US and allied troops. Now, this list can be easily edited. So if you don’t see your favorite Afghanistan War Film amongst those on the list, simply leave a comment below…