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‘Negative propaganda behind cinema culture decline’

‘Negative propaganda behind cinema culture decline’

Mar 14, 2019 - 19:44

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Owners of the four surviving cinema halls in capital Kabul say the lack of public interest, negative propaganda and no government support are to blame for the decline of cinema industry.

Currently Pamir, Aryana, Park and Khairkhana cinemas are operating in buildings which are in terrible condition. Some cinema halls have been converted to storages, business centres or conference rooms.

Pajhwok Afghan News reporter talked to cinema owners, experts and fans about the state of cinema, people’s interest and the quality of movies showed in these cinema halls.

Ahmad Hammad, 30, a resident of Badakhshan province, said: “Whenever I come from Badakhshan to Kabul, I surely watch a movie in cinema.”

Hammad, who is interested in watching Afghan and American movies, said he often watched Shad Gul movies, and sometimes watched American movies as well.

The Aryana Cinema in Pul-i-Bagh Omumi area operates in a two storey building spread over 1,500 square metres land and has the capacity for 600 audience, but in recent years not more than 50 people watch a movie in one show.

Syed Farooq Haibat, the director of the cinema, said the facility was owned by the Kabul Municipality and its 35 percent income went to the municipality.

He was concerned about the lack of audience and said: “We screen three shows daily but just more than 30 people attend the show while there is capacity for 600 people.”He said the culture of going to cinema had further declined.

The Pamir Cinema is another hall incepted 60 years back in the Cinema-i-Pamir locality of Kabul City.

Parwaiz, 40, who had come to watch a movie along with his two friends, said in the past cinema halls were places of entertainment, enjoyment and learning, but now the situation had changed. 

“Currently most of those who visit cinema hall are not good people. Inside the cinema, hashish is consumed, insulting language is used and all these negative behaviors harm public interest.”

Recalling people’s love with cinema in 2002, the cinema management said they would screen a movie four times a day instead of three times due to huge audience and growing interest of people in movies.

Noor Agha, director of the Pamir Cinema, said although facilities had increased and separate places made available for families in the hall, still around 30 to 40 people attended the show.

Negative propaganda and lack of public interest were reason behind the decline of the cinema culture in the country, said Noori.

The display of foreign movies in some Kabul cinemas has also worried parents.

Haji Murad, 60, a resident of Kart-i-Naw locality, said he would go to cinema two or three times in a week during his youth.

He added they would go to cinema to entertain themselves and remove tiredness, but now the cinema had lost its popularity and value completely. “The youth now go to cinema to watch nude movies and lose their moral attitude.”

But officials of the Afghan Film, the only association which controls the content of movies in cinemas, assured the people of constant control over immoral movies.

Abdul Wali, director production and evaluation of the Afghan Film, said cinemas could play movies after the Afghan Film gave its nod and confirmation.

“We allow movies which are not against our cultural, religious and Afghan values and which only entertain audience,” he said.

Abdul Wadud Nijrabi, cultural director at Kabul Municipality, said cinemas were more active before the war and conflict in the country, but events of recent years harmed the culture of cinema.

Referring to income from cinemas, he said when there was no audience, their income would be definitely less.

The cinema projector was brought to Afghanistaninfo-icon for the first time in 1920 by the royal family and was used in official events. The first Afghan movie was ‘Esaq aw Dosti’ (Love and Friendship) produced by Rashid Latif in 1946.





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