Guilty secret: International politics is my Achilles’ heel. I could spend all my free time reading The Economist and watching BBC World, and I still wouldn’t know half as much as I’d like to about what’s going on in the world. But somehow, if you throw a little cultural history in with all that political jargon, my antennae rise up and my brain starts retaining knowledge. So films like tonight’s International Lens installment are right up my alley.
Breaking The Silence — Music in Afghanistan is an award-winning 2002 documentary that traces the rise and fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan through the lens of music. What follows is like a microcosm of the whole conflict: The Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic law led to an attack on music, so people who had made their careers as musicians had to think fast or go hungry, instruments and recordings were destroyed, and the entire musical history of a nation was under threat of extinction. Come to this screening and feel your own lightbulb go off — and be in a room full of people you can discuss it with.