Iranian new wave cinema: Afghan Alphabet (2002)

20160131_iranian_new_wave_cinema_afghan_alphabetSunday January 31st 2016, Iranian new wave cinema: Afghan Alphabet (2002) by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

The Afghan Alphabet (Persian: الفبای افغان‎‎, Alefbay-e afghan) is a 2002 documentary by Mohsen Makhmalbaf showing the life of children in the Afghan villages bordering Iran, and how their life and culture were affected by the Taliban regime.


Mohsen Makhmalbaf tracks the children who do not attend school in the border villages between Iran and Afghanistan with his digital camera and questions why they are not being educated. He finds girls studying in UNICEF classes in one region. One of the girls is not willing to come out of her burqa despite the fact that she has run away from Afghanistan and the Taliban are not present here. She is more afraid of the horrifying god that the Taliban have created than the Taliban.

In 2002 about 3 million Afghan refugees were living in Iran. From those about 700,000 were Afghan children who were not allowed to go to Iranian schools because of their illegal status in Iran. After this movie was made, this subject became controversial and finally the Islamic Consultative Assembly passed a bill to allow Afghani children to go to school and it resulted in 500,000 kids getting education.

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Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net