The Afghan Alphabet

Thematic 9.11 Films of Tragedy and Hope Curated by Nancy Buirski

Mohsen Makhmalbaf tracks the children who do not attend school in the villages between Iran and Afghanistan with his digital camera and questions why they are not being educated. He finds girls studying in UNICEF classes in one region. One of the girls is not willing to come out of her burqa despite the fact that she has run away from Afghanistan and the Taliban are not present here. She is more afraid of the horrifying God that the Taliban has created than of the Taliban itself. The film seeks the lost key that opens the lock to the cultural problems of Afghanistan.


Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Release Year


Festival Year




Run Time

45 minutes


US Premiere