Making a Movie in the Midst of War

Described as “a modern portrait of Afghanistan that captures the current plight and resilience of its people,” The Black Tulip—screening at LACMA tomorrow—tells a story through the eyes of an everyday family from Kabul, who remains hopeful despite constant struggle and tragedy.

The film was shot on location in Kabul, Afghanistan, by American director Sonia Nassery Cole, herself an Afghan expatriate. Filming in the middle of country ravaged by war was not easy. (By contrast, The Kite Runner, which also takes place in Afghanistan, was actually filmed in China.) After the screening tomorrow Cole will join film critic Todd McCarthy in conversation about her experiences. To say it was difficult would be an understatement

Cole fled Afghanistan as a teenager in 1979 but has long been a voice for Afghan relief efforts. She is also founder and CEO of the Afghanistan World Foundation. This is her first feature-length film. It had its world premiere in September 2010 in Kabul and was subsequently Afghanistan’s official submission for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards. Tomorrow’s screening is a great opportunity to see this film, which has not yet had a wide release, and as well to hear straight from the director about the unique and daunting challenges of making the film.

Miranda Carroll

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