DER Documentary

Afghanistan / Faces of Change collection

Faces of Change - Afghanistan series

A series of 5 films from the Faces of Change collection
by Herb Di Gioia, David Hancock and Louis Dupree
produced by Norman Miller
color, 148 min, 1974, digitally remastered 2017

Faces of Change - Afghanistan Series 2 DVD SET:


Portraying a look-back in time to a community that has changed little in a thousand years, the five Afghanistan films, are a portrait of life in the last months before the Russian invasion and the upheaval that spread across northern Afghanistan.The films were shot in 1972. The market town of Aq Kapruk is 320 road miles or 14 hours northwest of Kabul in Balkh Province an area inhabited by Tajik and other Central Asian peoples. It lies along the Balkh river, mainly a wheat grown and pastoral economy.

Since their first release the films have won acclaim from both scholars wishing to use the footage for specific cultural research and educators using the film and related print material in classrooms. The original sound film negative, some 21 hours, is at the Smithsonian.

The two main subjects in the education film, teenage boys Naim and Jabar were reported killed in the Russian campaign. The lead translator and camp manager, Toryali Shafaq, was reported killed when a rocket hit his apartment in Kabul. Nancy Dupree, one of the filmmakers and subject matter experts has remained in Kabul and dedicated her life to building an institute for the historic preservation of the Afghan culture.

"These five films portray different aspects of technology, economic arrangements and social life in the village of Aq Kupruk in northern Afghanistan. The area is hilly, intensely arid, the elevation is about 2000 feet, the population consists mainly of Tajik agriculturalists. There is a substantial bazaar at Aq Kupruk and the valley lies on the migration track of Pushtun pastoral nomads. Clearly the area comprises the three main segments of Afghan society: the bazaar sector, the farmers, and the nomads." — Asen Balikci, University of Montreal, American Anthropologist, 1977

Films in the Afghanistan series:
Afghan Nomads: The Maldar
An Afghan Village
Afghan Women
Naim and Jabar
Wheat Cycle

Related Resources
Study Guide

About the Faces of Change collection
This revolutionary series of 26 - 16mm films and videos, funded by the National Science Foundation, produced by Norman Miller and documented by some of the finest ethnographic filmmakers of our time is now available through D.E.R. The films examine 5 cultures selected for the diversity of their geographic location: starting with the China Coast at sea level and moving up to Taiwan, then to Afghanistan, Kenya and finally to the mountains of Bolivia. Each location is examined through 5 themes: Rural Society, Education, Rural Economy, Women, and Beliefs.



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