From photographer Jonathan Saruk’s work of movie theaters in Afghanistan. His book, “The Forbidden Reel: A Journey Through the Cinemas of Kabul”, should be out shortly.
A q & a with him can be found on the terrific site Roads & Kingdoms
Here’s a description of the project from his website:
On a Friday afternoon this past summer at Pamir Cinema in the Old City of Kabul, the busiest day of the week, a standing room only crowd of several hundred young men in a smoke-filled room cheer on the hero of a Pakistani film as he seeks revenge against the villain. Match-heads flicker constantly, throwing flashes of light across the darkened theater as the men chain-smoke throughout the film. Cellphones ring, and men occasionally yell across the crowded room to locate friends. On stage a young boy dances with his hands raised in the air, illuminated by the projector, as his friends in the front of the audience cheer him on.
Only ten years ago, this would have been unthinkable in Kabul – the Taliban had banned, among other things, going to the movies.
Today there are about a half dozen movie theaters that operate around Kabul, giving some relief to otherwise difficult conditions where most still find themselves in the impoverished metropolis.