23 April 2012 3:38 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Afghanistan's first female director, risks death to go to work each day – shooting a film in Kabul is a brave act of defiance. Here she talks passionately about women's equality and her fear that the return of the Taliban could kill Afghan cinema for ever

It's four degrees below zero in a high-security police compound in south-west Kabul. Inside several thick concrete walls topped with razor wire, 60 officers from the city's antiterrorist unit stand to attention in neat rows, blinking in the harsh winter sunlight, waiting for their orders. But today the commands won't come from their general. Today the boss is Saba Sahar – actress, screenwriter and Afghanistan's first-ever female film director.

"Cut!" shouts Sahar. She turns to the general standing awkwardly on the sidelines beside her soundman. "The troops are too far away from the camera, Mr Commander," she says. "We can't see them."

Fourteen years after the Taliban »

- Jenny Kleeman

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