Dispatch from Afghanistan

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One of the upsides of our recent fundraising campaign has been hearing from all our members and supporters, from all over the country. The most far flung email has definitely come from Anthony Bolante, whose email signature reads “ANA Air Corps Flight Ops Mentor, MPRI (Combined Air Power Transition Force), Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan.”

When asked to comment on any Afghani “cinematic movements” Anthony said:

As a matter of fact, I do put-on the best, damn 8-foot-screen, safehouse rooftop theatre in Kabul every Thursday night which is our one-night weekend (Friday is the one-day weekend here, so …). See attached image from a few weeks back when I viewed “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.” Our safehouse is close to the US Embassy so sometimes, we get a packed house. It’s one of the few things I/we do to relieve stress out here in this wacky city.

You know what was even more surreal than “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” It was showing “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Tom Hanks, 2008) on the roof of our 4-story-tall rooftop in Kabul with the city skyline behind the movie screen. THAT was a bizarre experience for all of us here. Peace will eventually come here Ryan. Enshallah.

Also, please know that my “Starlight Theatre” is in direct defiance of snipers (no kidding) and the Taliban’s oppressive reign. Just know that the one “real” theatre in downtown Kabul was shuttered during the Taliban’s occupation and it is finally open sporadically these days without the fear of a Talib threatening locals for patronizing movie-going. Freedom of expression!

Enshallah indeed. Thanks for sharing, Anthony. We are thinking of you too. And here is the photo he sent.

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