Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

The Beauty Academy of Kabul

Compelling doc avoids coming off too didactic
By GERALD PEARY  |  April 19, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars
The Beauty Academy of KabulShot in Afghanistan just months after the seeming smashing of the Taliban, Liz Mermin’s engaging film already seems a nostalgia item remembering a better, more optimistic time. A bunch of New York hair stylists calling themselves Beauty Without Borders land in Kabul and set up shop, teaching local women who had suffered under Taliban misogynist puritanism to perm their hair, wear make-up, and preen like Western women. Mermin allows you to decide whether the Afghan women are being liberated, or brainwashed into the most frivolous kind of femininity, or something in between. Whatever, lots of these women are as charming as they are courageous in their harrowing war memories, and somehow this documentary, without being didactic, manages to stretch in compelling ways the boundaries of feminism.
Related: Books not bombs, Suicide Attacks Target Kabul Peacekeepers, Welcome back, Castro, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, War and Conflict, The Taliban,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY