The Beauty Academy of Kabul
- Filmmaker post-screening Q&A
- Deleted scenes
- Resource guide
- Filmmaker biography
Top Customer Reviews
While I admire the Americans for their act of kindness, it becomes clear early on that they are almost completely insensitive to the mores of the Afghanis. The students, first of all, are survivors of a brutal regime in a male-dominated, Islamic society. Under the Taliban, many risked punishment to run beauty salons out their own homes.To hear these women being lectured by know-it-all Americans was ghastly. Almost to a person, the Americans were arrogant and insensitive. One woman figured she would single-handedly "liberate" the streets by driving a car -- unheard of in that country. The stares and glares she received did not seem to faze her. Another woman engaged the students in pre-class meditation -- something that must have seemed bizarre (and faintly heretical!) to these Muslim women. Most of the teachers treated their students as rookies -- unmoved that they had been working in the business for years and years. Overall, the Afghani women were serious, devout, family-oriented workaholics. The Americans -- beauty-obsessed, swinging singles and into New Age religion if any at all -- epitomized the stereotype that Americans are loud, brash, disconnected and uncaring.Read more ›
This movie is certainly interesting in demonstrating the chasm between between eastern and western feminine mores. Nothing like a bunch of dead family members to cement a reluctance to adopt western fashion. Certainly the chasm is so substantial that its hard to fathom that a term such as "love marriage" exists on this planet, but there it is. And the flakiness that is celebrated in the west as "diversity" and "enlightenment" is exposed in this film for its weirdness. Afghani society is not so tolerant of behavior that is outside the lines.
If nothing else, we have a misinterpretation of gaps; we have westerners hoping to cross decades of difference when the gap is centuries. And yet the resilient women of Kabul, some who have never known peace know that they are right and that the battle is not a matter how but when. This is not a story with dramatic twists or stunning turns, but a modest story of cowed women taking modest steps to assert themselves in a society that suddenly stopped caring what women had to say and only now minimally willing to consider their contribution. It is a moving story of small acts of courage in the face of cultural retardation.
The filmmakers have been invited into the homes of some of these women and we learn a great deal about their values and aspirations, as well as what is expected of them. When a young single woman reveals that she is "in love" with a young man, she makes the filmmaker promise not to tell her mother, who would strongly disapprove. A married woman speaks of living through the reign of Taliban terror that kept women house-bound, and another describes secretly working as a hairdresser during those years in her home - in defiance of the law. The beauty school instructors may make you cringe, but you'll admire their students.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I brought this dvd and it arrived cracked. And look like it was covered over with tape. Was a gift for my daughter in africa. It came day before my flight so I didnt . Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
as a background tasks it's not bad - has some interesting scenes and dialogues - I didn't like the fat American woman trying to convert the Afghans into her culture but I am fully... Read morePublished on June 12, 2013 by Reza Ganjavi
It is a short documentary on the beauty school. I was using it to supplement Deborah Rodriquez books of Kabul..The video did give insight on the female life in Kabul... Read morePublished on December 22, 2012 by Lyn Immel
How does a woman who wears her hair like THAT think she can teach about hair care? How does a woman who wears make-up like that think she can teach about beauty? Read morePublished on May 11, 2010 by Daisy
This documentary is a great look at a female community transforming itself after being lifted from an oppressive government that worked to keep women under wraps (literally) and... Read morePublished on June 2, 2009 by Maybird
I had read the book written about the beauty school when it first came out and just got around to watching the documentary this weekend. Read morePublished on May 13, 2009 by Holly