Soap operas might be the low of American culture (don't tell James Franco), but in Afghanistan they serve lofty objectives. In a country where the Taliban forbade women to even go to school not too long ago, it's empowering for women to work and gain public recognition. And for viewers at home, the show tells the familiar story of life since the fall of the Taliban. In last weekend's New York Times Magazine, Elizabeth Rubin interviewed actresses on the country's first soap opera: The Secrets of This House. Here are six things I learned. You can check out part of the first episode (subtitled) in the video below.
- The actresses risk their lives. One explains: "If the Taliban come back, they'd behead all of us."
- "The Murdoch of Kabul" produces the show, and according to Rubin, he "darts around the world tending to kids and business and politics in Australia (where he spent his teenage years) and in Dubai, Kabul, Washington, Los Angeles."
- The writers workshopped with the screenwriter of Pretty Woman.
See the rest after the jump.
- The first season was directed by a woman, young filmmaker Roya Sadaat.
- An actress can earn about $100 an episode.
- It's all about family drama. The story follows an Afghan man who returns to Kabul after living in the West for 20 years. He wants to reclaim his home from his cousin, who isn't ready to give it back.