The Beauty Academy of Kabul

World Premiere

USA | 74 MINUTES | Dari, English |


Under the Taliban, women in Afghanistan were forced to become faceless. Covered by burqas, forbidden to show even a tiny patch of skin, they lived in an almost unbelievably oppressive atmosphere for six long years. This engrossing film documents an unusual and ultimately very moving cultural exchange: a group of volunteer women, comprised of both Americans and Afghan-Americans, recently traveled to that country to teach beauty skills. In Kabul, where such trades had been practiced in secret, so many candidates turned up that a lottery system had to be instituted. Many of them were women who had led desperate lives for years. The film plays witness to their growing self-confidence. Perhaps more surprisingly, it observes how the emotional interactions between Afghan and Western women led to healing and spiritual transformation on both sides, and proves that sisterhood can transcend national boundaries.