I am just home from showing our film Afghanistan: Between Light and Darkness to a festival in Spain. They really loved the point of view, especially because it helped explain the roots to the war in Afghanistan, and not a pro US military piece. I am finding out that our film is more popular in Europe than in US because in US people want to see the fighting, but in Europe they are more interested in the causes and possible solutions, which our film discusses.
I had an amazing time because of the European tradition to bring artists together to discuss their work. The festival was created by 12 friends, all of whom were either artists, musicians, photographers, or filmmakers. They were all so gracious, having all the directors over to their various houses for lunch and creating great dinners for us at night after the screenings…while everyone played music and danced. In Spain, they eat very late. We would get out of the last screening about 11pm…and then eat at midnight at different venues…all outside restaurants…and then bar hop until 5 or 6 in the morning! My Spanish got better and better!
One night we did have a panel discussion with the directors on stage which was a linguistic challenge for me…but they said I did fine. Almost everyone speaks some English, so I always had help. And then for the night our film screened, I prepared a speech in Spanish to introduce the film.
They liked the film, loved the cinematography and the music, but it was difficult for them to read all the subtitles and watch the film, but they did get it…and the joke that evening was that I was going to get sent to Guantanamo for my POV.
One reoccurring theme when I show our film is that everyone wants more…and they always LOVE the music… And they want to be able to just watch the beautiful imagery and listen to the music. So, it does make me want to think about another cut…but I still think I would have to go back to Afghanistan and get more of a story…so that puts me back to the money question.
Finally on Monday, after it was all over, we took a picnic of bread and cheese and apples and wine and went to the beach! First we went swimming in the ocean. The weather was beautiful, the beaches long and white, and then one of the friends showed up with a surf board. He was a surf board instructor. So I got to Surf in Spain!
Greeting from Kabul!
Nice to hear from you. At late 70 when Russian were in Afghanistan there were at least 7 parties of Mujahideen established in Pakistan by US government support on that time to fight antagonist of Russia…
1. Rabani’s group
2. Per Gailani’s group
3. Hazrat Sebghatullah’s group
4. Sayaf’s group
5. Hekmatyar’s group
6. Haqqani’s group
7. Khalis’s group
And then at early 90 when the communist regime was collapsed the above 7 parties and the other 8 parties who were established in Iran started to fight with each other to have the government power and they killed thousands of civilians including women and children and then at 1995 there was another group (Tliban) was established to wipe the other groups off… the Taliban were not some new people who was sanded from sky, they were those fighter from Haqqani’s, Khalis’s, Hekmatyar’s groups who came together to serve for Al-Qaida and Pakistan’s objective in Afghanistan… and still it’s going on.
I think it’s all that I know about them….
Dear Palwasha and Yasin,
I am showing Between Light and Darkness in Spain this weekend, at the Mediu Gueyui Film Festival in the Asturais reigon… in a little town called Villaviciosa…meaning vicious village because of their valiant stand against Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
Whenever I show the film, the audience asks me questions about Afghanistan…not the film. Somehow, I become an expert on Afghanistan…which I am not…you two are. This film is your voice.
So, in preparation for this screening which is Sunday, October 2nd, can you please let me know your thoughts on the Haqqani? Their crime empire? And their attack on the US Embassy?
Here are my questions specifically:
1. Do I have this right: the Haqqani are not the Taliban. They are one of the original fighting Mujahideen. They are a huge ring of organized crime…like our mafia in the 20’s during prohibition in New York. Is that true? Do they just want to get rich and powerful through crime, or do they want to take over Afghanistan and govern her? Would they be any better or worse than the Karzai Government? Will they collaborate with the Taliban and enforce oppressive, fundamentalist rules? Or is there hope that peaceful and reasonable Afghans like yourselves can still have an impact on Afghanistan’s future?
2. You had said that the US presence is a magnet for outside powers to fund the Taliban and escalate the war. It also seems to be a magnet for the Haqqani violence. Do you still think the US should withdraw its military?
3. I read an article in the New York Times by a US commander in Afghanistan. He believed in the Afghan soldier. He believed they would fight to save their homes and eradicate the Taliban….and by extension the Haqqani. Is that possible? What do you think?
Thank you dear Palwasha and Yasin. We don’t get to hear your point of view enough. I believe that by putting it out there, you will impact the evolution of Afghanistan. We are rooting for you!