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Filmography - Area Studies: South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania: Afghanistan

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of January 2017

Area Studies: Afghanistan

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (

Note: Vietnam War and War on Terror (in Afghanistan) are addressed in specific filmographies on those topics. Feature films are also excluded from this list with the exception of a few that depict important historical events that aren’t well covered by documentaries (e.g. The Killing Fields).



Afghan nomads-- the Maldar. Faces of change: Ethnographic video online. 1995. 1 streaming video (21 min.). Shows the mixture of faith and distrust that have kept nomads and sedentarists separate yet interdependent over the centuries. Streaming video;764081

Afghan star. 2010. 1 videodisc (88 min.). In Afghanistan you risk your life to sing. After thirty years of war and five devastating years of Taliban rule, pop culture is beginning to return to the country. Since 2005, millions have been tuning in to Tolo TV's wildly popular American idol-style series, Afghan star. Like its Western predecessors, people compete for a cash prize and record deal. More surprisingly, the contest is open to everyone across the country despite gender, ethnicity, or age. DVD 7245

An Afghan village: Aq kupruk, Northern Afghanistan. Faces of change (Afghanistan) film series: Ethnographic video online. 1974. 1 streaming video (44 min.). Presents a collage of daily life in Aq Kupruk including the single voice calling townspeople to prayer, the brisk exchange of the bazaar, communal labor, and the uninhibited sports and enertainment of rural Afghans. Streaming video;764092

Afghan women. Faces of change (Afghanistan): Ethnographic video online. 1974. 1 streaming video (16 min.). The words of the women of Aq Kupruk, Afghanistan and the rhythm of their lives in seclusion suggest both satisfying and limiting aspects of the women's role in an Afghan rural community. Streaming video;764082

Balancing acts. Life 4: Millennium series: Life 4 (Bullfrog Films, inc.). 2004. 1 videodisc (23 min.). In Pakistan, seventeen-year-old Hina is challenging tradition to complete her education. In Afghanistan, returning refugees like Maa Gul want the government to honor their right to shelter. In Kenya, Rose, who is HIV positive, is championing rights to independence for widows. And in Nigeria, market trader Tematayo is demanding the government acknowledge her worth as a successful businesswoman. DVD 1695

The beauty academy of Kabul. 2006. 1 videodisc (74 min.). A group of Western hairstylists open a beauty academy for Afghani women in post-Taliban Kabul. DVD 8122

Behind the Veil: Afghan Women under Fundamentalism. 2001. 1 streaming video (26 min.). For women living in Afghanistan under repressive Taliban rule, beatings, rape, and enslavement were commonplace occurrences. This gripping program, filmed during the Taliban's regime, describes the massive human rights abuses that escalated after the withdrawal of Soviet forces, as seen through the eyes of women who survived years of rampant gender and religious intolerance. Resistance activities carried out by women's groups inside the country are also documented, as they fought for freedom and democracy. Some content may be objectionable. Streaming video

Bill Moyers Journal: Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori / Christian Parenti on Afghanistan. 2007. 1 streaming video (58 min.). Emerging from under the cloud of bankruptcy, Northwest Airlines has cut. Streaming video

The dancing boys of Afghanistan. 2010. 1 videodisc (60 min.). In Afghanistan today, in the midst of war and endemic poverty, an ancient tradition, banned when the Taliban were in power, has re-emerged across the country: Many hundreds of boys, often as young as ten, are being lured off the streets on the promise of a new life, many unaware that their real fate is to be used for entertainment and sex. An Afghan journalist, investigates this illegal practice, talking with the boys and their masters, and the Afghan authorities. DVD 7595

The Global Addiction: Dispatches from the War on Drugs. 1999. 1 streaming video (41 min.). Can the exploding drug trade be stemmed in the face of a rising demand in the U.S. and Europe and political accommodations and economic realities in producer countries? This program studies the drug industry in Colombia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Burma, where UN crop substitution programs are thwarted by governments unwilling or unable to crack down on drug production and by drug lords who use incentives and coercion to increase drug crop yields. The issue is made more complex by fundamentalist Islamic nations that have reconciled their strict religious beliefs with economic necessity and by the harsh programs China and Japan are using to rehabilitate the growing number of addicts. Streaming video

In this world. 2004. 1 videodisc (88 min.). The hazardous journey of two Afghan boys as they travel from Pakistan through Iran, Turkey, Italy, France and the UK in search of refuge in London, revealing the desperate measures people take to escape persecution and life-threatening conditions. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1319

Inside Afghan Heroin. 2007. 1 streaming video (50 min.). The face of heroin is changing. No longer the dirty, back alley drug of two decades ago, heroin is now purer, stronger, and cheaper than ever before. The global heroin market has exploded, with Afghanistan now supplying as much as 92 percent of the world's heroin supply. This film enters the work and lives of both addicts and law enforcement officials in several countries that are struggling against the impact of Afghan heroin. Profiles of users and dealers in Chicago, St. Louis, and Oslo, Norway-the overdose capital of Europe-highlight the frightening trend, while Col. Mohammad Taher of Afghanistan's Counter Narcotics Police helps illustrate just how this drug travels from the farm to the arm. Streaming video

Motherland Afghanistan. 2006. 1 videodisc (73 min.). Afghanistan today has the second highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. Filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi reveals the extent of this tragedy by documenting the 2003 return to Afghanistan of her father, Dr. Qudrat Mojadidi (an OB/GYN who emigrated to the U.S. in 1972) as he attempts to rehabilitate Kabul's Rabia Balkhi Hospital with the promised support of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. The film focuses on Dr. Mojadidi's emergency treatment of three Afghan women: Kakujan, who had received inadequate care from a midwife during a home birth; Sitara, who had traveled far to receive treatment after prolonged obstructed labor in her remote village; and Sharifa, who Dr. Mojadidi discovered was pregnant with a second twin after the first baby had died. DVD 5641

Return of the Taliban. 2006. 1 videodisc (60 min.). " ... the lawless Pakistani tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border ... reveals how the area has fallen under the control of a resurgent Taliban militia ... a launching pad for attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan ... the Taliban has claimed ... North and South Waziristan as Taliban republics ... off limits to U.S. troops ... Frontline investigates a secret front in the war on terror."--Container. DVD 3151

Stories of Women in Kabul. 2004. 1 streaming video (27 min.). The producers of this program were granted unlimited access to Kabul's Baghe Zanana, or Garden of Women-perhaps the only public place in Afghanistan where men are not welcome. Here, women can gather, dance, and remove their burqas without fear of violence or alienation. In stark contrast, a women's prison is also visited. The courageous figures who inhabit these settings-including a resident therapist who conducts support groups for the frightened and the traumatized, and a cafeteria employee struggling to improve her family's living conditions-demonstrate how far Afghanistan must go to overcome its repressive and war-ravaged history. A Deutsche Welle Production. Streaming video

U.S.-Afghanistan Relations: Gaining Perspective. 2001. 1 streaming video (42 min.). The enemy of my enemy is my friend.In this program, ABC News correspondent Chris Bury shows how that Arab adage sums up America's relation to Afghanistan since the Cold War. Given the calamity, U.S. support to the mujahideen and the subsequent abandonment of Afghanistan upon the Soviet Union's defeat are discussed by Frank Anderson, head of the CIA's Afghan task force in the 1980s; Charles Wilson, former U.S. Congressman and proponent of Afghan support; Ben Rooney, a reporter with The Telegraph who covered the Afghan/Soviet war; Tom Carew, a former British SAS soldier who helped train the Afghan army; and two veterans from both sides of the Afghan/Soviet war. Streaming video