Yesterday the Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat gave a master class at Tabakalera in which she spoke about the situation of cinema in Afghanistan in the last few decades, the films that have been made both in and outside the country, the traumas caused by the recent return to power of the Taliban and the effect that this could have on future film production, and especially on artistic life and society in general. A society that the Afghan filmmaker said was now more consolidated than when this totalitarian regime came to power for the first time. She said that films produced in both the Soviet period in the 1970s and 80s and after the American invasion in 2001 were basically propaganda with little value, driven by the desire to make money rather than by any artistic pretensions. She also dismissed the films made about Afghanistan by foreigners, that she considered to be superficial and clichéd.
She also explained how corruption meant that festivals recognised films by artists with close links to the powers-that-be rather than for the quality of their work.