|Cinema Signals by Jules Brenner:|
Love and War in Afghanistan
"The Beauty Academy of Kabul"
Learning hairdressing and techniques of make-up application may seem to most citizens of free societies like a nice career choice, but it takes on a layer of significance when it's pursued in a Taliban-ravaged country. In fact, the business potential for beauty salons on this ravaged soil is a symbol of the underlying values of the society and its eagerness to look in other directions. The need to express personal pride is a human one and not merely national. The dedication to training in this art may be an important statement about the society's recovery.
Fearless filmmaker Liz Mermin documents a succession of volunteers and their influence on Afghan women as they assert the value of the training in personal, cultural and universal terms. Though the dedication to the subject is evident, the documentary strains a little to justify its feature length to the wider audience but will likely be mesmerizing to the audience it's for.