The Forbidden Reel

Available until June 24

No Longer Available

Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2020
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:Artscapes
Film Subjects:Film & Filmmaking
Religion & Spirituality
South & Central Asia
War & Conflict
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Ariel Nasr
Producer(s):Sergeo Kirby
Kat Baulu
Executive Producer(s):Sergeo Kirby
Annette Clarke
Jane Jankovic
Linda Fong
Editor(s):Annie Jean
Writer(s):Ariel Nasr
Cinematography:Duraid Munajim
Composer:Olivier Alary
Sound:Marie-Pierre Grenier


Winner—Rogers Audience Award

For most of us, Afghanistan is not synonymous with film culture. Ariel Nasr’s documentary sets out to change that: the Afghanistan in The Forbidden Reel is one with a deep, rich history of cinema, ready for rediscovery. This fascinating testament to a relatively unknown creative wellspring includes the incredible story of the Taliban’s efforts to burn the entirety of the country’s “un-Islamic” film history, stashed in original reels at the archives of Afghan Film, a state-sponsored national film body. Rescued from destruction, today these films are being digitized for preservation and distribution, in part through the help of the National Film Board of Canada. Skilfully weaving together film clips, interviews with Afghan directors and visits to the archives, this complex look at Afghan cinema allows for a better understanding of the country’s troubled past and offers a wish for its creative future. Aisha Jamal

A live Q&A, hosted by the NFB, took place on June 5. You can watch it on Vimeo.

Artscapes program sponsored by
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  • POV - "Restores Afghan film history"
  • Exclaim! - "Comprehensive"

Additional Information

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