Malek Shafi'i

The cinema’s background in Afghanistan!

The first Afghan film is made in 1949 in India and after it some centers for screening Indian films are created in Kabul, but after creating Afghan film cinematic center by Shah Amanolla in 1966 and with US cooperation, the film producing process begins as an organic way.
After the Afghan film established as a governmental center, Afghanistan’s amateur film makers began to produce documentary and commentary films, the film shooting system had been with negative and mostly 16 mm which had been sent to India, England and Soviet Union for issuing, printing and other laboratory works.
The US helps to the emerging Afghan’s Cinema stopped completely during the communist coup in 1978 , but the experience of news documentary films producing gave the dare for the Afghan youth’s film makers to take camera in the revolutionary atmosphere which prevailed at that time in Afghanistan .and that’s the time the Soviet Union ‘s helps come in stead of US helps and Afghanistan film makers try to make promotional films and praise the revolution .the Soviet’s helps in producing the collaborative film of (Kabul hot summers , a film that in which is narrated of entering experts and helps from Soviet Union to Afghanistan .)
The history of the film is about a Russian professor , that had been present in second world war and now two Afghan young men in Moscow , come to Kabul for medicine works of soldiers involving in the war with US and Pakistan elements or today’s Mojahedin and begin their work in Kabul Charsad Bestar(400 beds) Hospital .
The film making fire increase during the eighteenth decade and during these years the directors like, Engineer Latif, Homayon Moravat , Sedigh Barmak , Ahad Jovan and some others became popular .the comedy film series of ( Creditor , - patient soldier – The Criminals –Like Eagle – Wandered of the Streets –The Bird of Passage-The green Farm- The Stranger and a few later The epic of Love and Ash is made. And some companies like Nazir Film, Shafigh Film and Arina Film raise.
After the fall Of Dr.Najibolla and during the Islamic government of Rabbani also two film named Eddy and Ascent are made with directing of Mr.Nor Hashem Habib that these films had not any innovation, but admiring the Jihad “Holly War”
The Afghanistan Cinema’s achievement so far have been some screen writers,directors and some actors who wants to imitate from Indian cinema in their work., along with it , as Indian films entered Afghanistan before the film producing industry in Afghanistan , it still has the heart of film fans , who mostly are Afghan young ,the fairy moon-faced actresses and the lead boy who reach both to the fairy girls and wealth magically at one night all together , bewitch their Afghan audiences and even when there is no Indian films on Cinema’s screen ,but in stead the humid underground video clubs are full of audiences .
The spell-bounded number of Afghan audiences to Indian films remains till present situation .but unfortunately against the Afghan music that although influenced by Indian Music, but it’s not disappointing.
Master Sar Ahang ,Rahim Bakhsh with imitation from Indian Music did a work that charmed the Indian hearts, but that never happens in the cinema of Afghanistan .

Afghanistan Cinema in abroad:

During the instability that prevailed upon Afghanistan, some persons who had role in film producing began to make films in the world of immigration.
Concerning economic and financial difficulty, although film producing did not bring any growth and benefit for cinema art, but didn’t let that film producing process be cut.
(It’s considerable concerning to the Taliban government in Afghanistan)
The films which have been produced out side of the country are such as (In the Stranger Country –America. The Night’s Failure – Pakistan. Failure – India .the Ash of Love –America. Loneliness -Uzbekistan and the Series of Shirin Ghol and Shir Agha-Russia, all these films have been produced as video.the directors of Afghan films so far have been also the screen writers of their films too and in principle it didn’t separated.

The present situation of Cinema in Afghanistan:

Also 23 years war has been excessive for Afghans and Afghanistan, but at least it had a big achievement and it can be the change in attitude of Millions Afghan from the world’s around and their private lives, a change that changed an Afghan’s mind and vision from its simple way into a complicated mind and taste. A complicated taste can have more various and complicated subjects and desires. Those subjects have directed our today’s poem and literature into a dynamism and eloquence and have diversified it.

With this preface we pay to the current situation of cinema in Afghanistan:

After the fall of Taliban when Afghan film makers returned home from abroad, there was nothing! no camera and no libratory and Edit instruments .all things started with hard work and efforts , on the first days the film makers came in Afghan Film center and spoke about ,what should they do ? How screen their stories with nothing?
Gradually helps from N.G.O started, first of all Digital cameras and then online edit sets were bought and later Karin was bought and making films started.
At the same time some private cinematic centers created, that from the latest statistics, about 63 cinematic institutes got permission to work.
After the fall of the Taliban the first film made by Mr. Sedigh Barmak and financial help of NHK –Japan and then some short fiction films made by some amateurs, later on Mr Atigh Rahimi came from France and made it’s film name “Soil and Ash”, and I myself studied cinema in Iran, but returned from Holland, at the beginning I established the center of Art and Culture of Afghanistan and then I tried to create a work group. First I trained them and then I started to make documentary and fiction films, and I have made nine films so far at this center.
There are 17 active Cinema Salons in Afghanistan totally, and as I mentioned 63 film making centers have got permission to work from the government. And 7 TV channels are broadcasting its programs on at the moment, and totally 20 TV channels have gained the permission. but any how there is no floating money for film makers and most of the film making centers are inactive or make training and promotional films for N.G.O .the TV channels also have no especial parts for producing documentary and serial films and generally make the studio programs and broadcast Music .with TV channel establishment nearly most of the film makers attracted to work in these channels, so the future of independent films in Afghanistan is in danger.
Any how , when you interview from the youths of the city , a high percentage of them hope to be singer of film maker .the Kabul art faculty that didn’t have a high interested students for choosing the Cinema branch , has attracted a lot of volunteers .

And among these promotional films for N.G.O, some films have been made that have participated in World Festival for Afghanistan cinema and it’s so hopeful.


BASA Film.jpg - Malek Shafi'i