The Beauty Academy of Kabul (2006)
Critic Consensus: There's nothing frivolous about beauty school when hearing about the individual lives of these women in Afghanistan, and the contrast between them and the idealistic beauticians from America.
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Critic Reviews for The Beauty Academy of Kabul
Most of the students had suffered or witnessed horrific abuses and crimes under the Taliban, yet the film shows two fatuous U.S. instructors who clearly missed the sensitivity training.
a spiny, puzzling and highly entertaining film, and whatever you go into it thinking, you're likely to come out thinking something else.
Any film that raises this many interesting questions is worth seeing, though Beauty Academy never goes quite deep enough to become essential.
This movie shows us a small bit of daily life as lived by real people. For that alone, we should be grateful.
Yes, (Mid)west is (Mid)west and (Mid)east is (Mid)east, but the twain do meet -- sort of -- in this fascinating, unassuming little film.
Without editorializing, Mermin raises fascinating questions about the cultural impact of globalization, the allure of the West, and the troubled history of an ancient land.
Audience Reviews for The Beauty Academy of Kabul
Pretty straight-forward watch. I thought the most poignant part were the two hairdressers who fled Afghanistan in the 1980s and were back to teach at the school. The Americans are portrayed as obnoxious and ignorant, but I don't know how much of that is a result of editing. I read "Kabul Beauty School" by Debbie Rodriguez earlier this year and I wasn't shocked to see that she was the most obnoxious American. There's been some controversy over the accuracy of her book and I thought the movie was a good addition to the stuff in the book.
What is best about this documentary is that it is not only about a group of women helping another group of women half way around the world. It is about the daily life of this Afghan women, how there are trying to have a shred of normality in a country that it is in chaos.
This is a great documentary! I highly recommend it. One part of the film that upset me was how some of the American instructors spoke to the women with a sense of Western ignorance. There's a reason these women can't "rebel" as much as you would want them to; they could be killed.
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