Kabul Ping Pong (2005)
DV, 43 minutes.
In collaboration with Beate Petersen
Today’s Afghanistan is in a void, placed in-between to eras. 23 years of war is over. The 9th of October 2004 their first democratic election took place, after a two-year interim administration, lead by the USA-friendly Hamid Karzai. But when the battle between internal and external enemies is more or less brought to an end, how to define oneself positively: as a nation, as a culture, as a people? Which ideas shall the future be based on? Which stories and common beliefs can keep the people together? From where can they pick their role models? And how can the traumas of war be overcome? The film presents three persons which in different ways approach these questions. Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Abdullah is living in the memories of the brutal assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud. Parwana Hakim, a gifted girl of 12, is missing Pakistan and a better school-system. The newspaper editor of Kabul Weekly, Fahim Dashty, is marked by the traumas the war has induced. The documentary focuses on the strategies these people are using in order to define themselves after more than twenty years of war: All of them relate strongly to something lost, something which is not longer there. But all of them also manage, in different ways, to suggest new directions for a better future.