The Forbidden Reel

The Forbidden Reel
The Forbidden Reel

Director: Ariel Nasr

Canada | 2020 | 119 min

Rogers Audience Award – Hot Docs

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The Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan is well known for its brutality and ruthless enforcement of anything it deemed un-Islamic. In an attempt to solidify their occupation, they purposely worked towards erasing Afghanistan’s history. The rich cinematic legacy contained within the archive of Afghan Film (a state-sponsored national film body) was under threat of being burned as a forceful demonstration that no cultural artifacts were safe. The Forbidden Reel brings much-deserved attention to this fascinating story that highlights the power of cinema. Rescued from potential destruction, this valuable collection is being digitized for preservation and international distribution thanks to a collective effort from institutions like the National Film Board of Canada. Ariel Nasr brings these films to life through interviews, clips and visits to the archive illuminating a celebrated history that provides a better understanding of Afghanistan’s troubled past and a reminder of how art can serve as a collective memory.


Get access to an exclusive Q&A with your ticket:

Host Alex Rogalski (VFF Programmer) talks with director Ariel Nasr