Last year I attended the Pusan Film Festival in South Korea where I was asked about the subject of my next film. I would respond, Afghanistan. Immediately I would be asked, "What is Afghanistan?" Why is it so? Why should a country be so obsolete that the people of another Asian country such as South Korea have not even heard of it? The reason is clear. Afghanistan does not have a role in today's world. It is neither a country remembered for a certain commodity nor for its scientific advancement or as a nation that has achieved artistic honors. In the United States, Europe and the Middle East, however, the situation is different and Afghanistan is recognized as a peculiar country.
Samira Makhmalbaf set out to make a film about a female president of Afghanistan. The hardest part was persuading someone to play the role, she tells Geoffrey Macnab
During a stay in Kurdistan with my father, we found little topics, little stories, and I preferred this story: about the journey of teachers with blackboards on their backs as they traveled Kurdistan. My father gave me the outline of the story, and I drew up the screenplay as we went along.
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