I was back in Afghanistan for the month of April, when spring was rapidly coming to Kabul and the arid climate quickly shifts from below freezing into the 70sF. I worked with some of the trainees on the making of their commissioned films (see: Trainees win filmmaking contracts).
I am again now in Afghanistan for June and July, working on making the film that got this all started, Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War. It seems so long ago since my first pre-production trip to Afghanistan in ‘09. It was then that I realized that – as a foreigner and male – I could not make the film alone. Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War had to convey the inner perspectives of Afghan villagers and families – and therefore had to be made by Afghans with access to those communities. From this idea, we developed the documentary filmmaking trainings. After concluding the training in November, already with a beautiful set of short videos, the team has been scouting for the best stories to continue on with their filmmaking.
The conflicted and conservative condition of Afghanistan will not make these stories easy to tell – even by Afghans. But the team knows that these stories will help to reveal what works and what doesn’t when it comes to trying to improve economic and social conditions in Afghanistan – a place culturally and politically complex, and dogged by radical insurgents, poverty, illiteracy, unforgiving natural forces, and so much more.