Curt Hagenlocher on Tue, 20 Nov 2001 20:48:01 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Fighting over movie tickets in Kabul

[translated from the German article at,1518,168568,00.html]

Kabul - On Monday, for the first time in five years, the largest cinema in
the Afghan capitol of Kabul showed a film.  Fights over tickets erupted in
front of the theater, which has 600 seats.  The military police moved in,
forced the crowds back, and arrested two men at the start of the showing.

As the first seconds of the popular film "Urudsch" ("Ascension to Heaven")
flickered across the screen, the exclusively male audience applauded and
cheered loudly.  The movie is set in the 80s, and tells the story of three
mujadeheen fighting against the Soviet occupation.

Even before the showing ended, men that hadn't made it into the cinema
managed to break through police barricades and force their way into the
building.  Several of them climbed over a metal gate into a balcony on the
second floor.  The theater management confirmed additional showings for
the future.  They still had a whole row of films that they had managed to
keep hidden during the Taliban's reign.

During the five-year long rule of the radical Islamic Taliban movement,
films and television were prohibited in Afghanistan for religious reasons.
After the US-supported Northern Alliance took the capitol, these bans were
quickly lifed or relaxed.  Women, however, are still prohibited from
attending the cinema.

Curt Hagenlocher

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