In den 70er Jahren war das Kino Aryub das eleganteste Lichtspielhaus in Kabul. Es waren Zeiten der Freiheit und Freude, die weggefegt wurden von Bürgerkrieg und Gewaltherrschaft. Nur dank des alten Vorführers Naser überlebte das Aryub inmitten der Zerstörungen. Eine Gruppe junger Studenten beschließt, den Cineasten zu unterstützen und den Zauber von »Kabullywood« zurückzuholen. Voller Enthusiasmus beginnen sie, das Kino zu renovieren – doch das Projekt läuft nicht nach Plan und hat mächtige Gegner. Die Mockumentary gibt im Direct-Cinema-Stil rare Einblicke in ein Land zwischen liberalem Aufbruch und der ständigen Bedrohung durch die Taliban.
“ I first set foot in Afghanistan early 2002 with the aim to participate in the reconstruction effort and discover a land whose beauty I had heard from journalists and travelers. I initially came for six months but I started a production company in Kabul, and I ended up spending more than ten years in Afghanistan. The end of the Taliban regime brought a lot of optimism to the Afghan people after 25 years of invasion, civil war and oppression. The newly installed democracy allowed the revival of cultural traditions and the emergence of a vibrant art scene composed of musicians, painters, actors, dancers… Among these artists I met with a group of actors who were expressing the hopes of their people with a moving sensibility. Together, we started dreaming of a shelter for local artists and we came up with the KABULLYWOOD project – comprising of both the creation of a venue that could be used for artistic creation and the production of a feature film showcasing the dreams and struggles of the Afghan youth. Unfortunately, the situation deteriorated, insecurity rose, part of the team was injured in a bombing, we were threatened by gunmen, we almost died in a fire and the cultural centre never opened. This setback was a major disappointment but, against the odds, we managed to complete the film. It bears testimony of the Afghan art scene – a unique cultural identity inspired by Bollywood music and films, Middle-Eastern lifestyle, Iranian culture and Western hip-hop.” Louis Meunier