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LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL is an intimate portrait of three young Afghani women accused of committing "moral crimes" such as premarital sex and running away from home. As we follow them from prison to trial, we discover the pressures and paradoxes that women in Afghanistan face today-and the dangerous consequences when they refuse to fit in.Written by
Thousands of miles away, across mountains and oceans and continents, is a country where women are imprisoned for running away from home or having premarital 'relations' with their boyfriends and fiancées. This is the same country which the United States and NATO have spent hundreds of billions of dollars 'defending' from a fundamentalist sect known as the Taliban. This war has been propagandized, in part, as a war for women's rights. In Love Crimes of Kabul we learn precisely how many rights those billions of dollars have so far purchased. Would the plight of women be worse if the Taliban were still running things? Possibly, but it is clear that the present government's concept of 'women's rights' is not even close to something western women would accept.
A year or two after 9/11, I remember reading the results of a breathtakingly sexist poll asking American men to rate women's attractiveness on a country by country basis. By a substantial margin, they voted Afghani women the ugliest in the world. This poll was, I believe, a more accurate reflection of America's genuine feelings about the women of Afghanistan: they are a handy political tool, but you wouldn't want your son to marry one.
An eye-opening and shocking HBO original documentary, Love Crimes of Kabul even features a woman imprisoned for the crime of 'intending to have sex'. God Bless America.
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