Kathleen Foster

10 Years On, Afghanistan & Pakistan

Since 9/11, Americans have largely been kept ignorant of the human cost of the Middle East wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan.

After more than a decade of fighting, my newest film, 10 Years On, Afghanistan & Pakistan, provides an up to date account of the consequences of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and now Pakistan, as the US expands the war through the use of remote control drones fired over the Afghan border into Pakistan.

Taliban attack 2010
Demonstration, Kabul 2010
Shanties, Kabul, 2010

The new documentary updates, Afghan Women: A History of Struggle, which focused on the struggles of women and U.S. involvement over the past 30 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

As the civilian death toll mounts and economic conditions worsen the film shows how Afghans are struggling to change a world increasingly dominated by violence and corruption and how Pakistani workers and peasants are fighting back with militant strikes and protests across the country.

10 Years On, Afghanistan & Pakistan is a must see film for anyone interested in knowing the reality of the war from the point of view of those whose homes and lives are being destroyed.

10 Years On, Afghanistan & Pakistan ties the war, America's longest military conflict, to the economic downturn at home and makes the connection between grass roots demands for economic and social justice in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Occupy Wall Street movement here.

Afghan Women: A History of Struggle 2007

I continue to show Afghan Women: A History of Struggle and lead post-screening discussions to college audiences, faith based and community organizations and high school classes. Several universities are including it in their yearly curriculum. It has been shown to select audiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In 2009 I traveled to Lahore, Pakistan where Afghan Women: A History of Struggle was screened at the annual World Festival of the Arts. Miranda Husain of the Pakistani Times called the film '"the highlight of the ninth day . . . a thought provoking documentary".

It is being introduced to audiences in Europe. In October 2010 it was included in the DOK Leipzig Film Festival, DOKMarket and in November it was chosen as an Official Selection at the Bruxelles Fiction and Documentary Festival.

Afghan Women: A History of Struggle, adds a rarely heard perspective to the current discussion on Afghanistan, told from the point of view of Afghan women. It captures the resilience and courage of a group of remarkable women who risk their lives daily in a struggle for political, economic and social equality. Rare archival footage illustrates their amazing stories, their participation in the revolutionary movement of the 1970's and the years of political turmoil that have followed: from proxy war, to civil war, to the ensuing oppressive rule of the Taliban and to the current sway of regional warlords and resurgence of the Taliban.

The women give us the hidden story of the cold war battle between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R that was played out on Afghan soil and expose the CIA's secret role in the creation of the terrorist groups on the Pakistan-Afghan border that plague the world today.

The film goes inside a women's prison. At a conference in Kandahar it records the drafting of an Afghan Women's Bill of Rights by women from across Afghanistan. In scenes like these women debunk the commonly held myth that the U.S. occupation has brought Afghan women freedom and expose U.S. interest in Afghanistan as a drive to control a region with vast oil and gas reserves.

What People Are Saying About The Film

" Highly recommended. An exceptionally powerful documentary. Should be required viewing for history and women' studies classes. The elements of the film are sure to invite discussion." Educational Media Reviews Online
". . .exposes the big lie of the U.S. freeing Afghanistan . . . makes the connection between U.S. and Islamic fundamentalism, global and local politics, religion, money, and oil." Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian Author.
"Foster challenges viewers to examine how Afghan women have continually borne the dual costs of American imperial ambitions on the one side, and the barbarity of feudal warlords on the other." Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
"At last, a concise, well-made documentary chronicling the history of women's struggle for their rights in Afghanistan. Excellent historic footage of pre-Taliban and Soviet-era Afghanistan. Filmmaker Kathleen Foster (Point of Attack) casts her journalistic eye to provide insight and a holistic view of the history of the Afghan women's movement." Nadia Hlibka, MESA FilmFest Coordinator
In 2009, Kathleen Foster traveled to Lahore, Pakistan where Afghan Women: A History of Struggle was screened at the annual World Festival of the Arts. Miranda Husain of the Pakistani Times called the film "the highlight of the ninth day . . . a thought provoking documentary".

Afghan Women: A History of Struggle is distributed in the U.S. by Cinema Guild. www.cinemaguild.com and is a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, www.nyfa.org