Afghan Film and Literature Resources

Upon request, I’ve decided to compile an ongoing list of resources of Afghan literature/culture. The genres are mixed; some are autobiographical, others are fictional. Even if they appear to be based on personal experiences, I would be very cautious on historical accuracies.

Obviously, this is a biased list as I am highly dependent on resources that are published in English (or at least have subtitles in English). Here I have also avoided, to a large extent, non-fiction genres such as military, war, politics and terrorism.

If you’d like me to add any of your favourite titles to this list, please contact me at


1. The Great Game Afghanistan (Oberon Modern Plays) / ISBN 978-1-84002-922-2
2. The Two Worlds of Charlie F. (Owen Sheers) / ISBN 978-0-571-29779-5
3. Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays (edited by Karen Malpede, Michael Messina, and Bob Shuman) / ISBN 978-0-8101-2732-6
4. Homebody/Kabul (Tony Kushner) / ISBN 1-55936-209-X
5. Shakespeare in Kabul (Stephen Landrigan and Qais Akbar Omar) / ISBN 978-1907973208
6. Blood and Gifts (J.T. Rogers )/ ISBN 978-0-571-27116-0
7. Afghanistan in the Cinema (Mark Graham) / ISBN 978-0-252-07712-8



1. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) / ISBN 1-59448-000-1
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini) / ISBN 978-1-59448-950-1
3. Dancing with Darkness (Magsie Hamilton Little) / ISBN 978-906251-43-7
4. The Bookseller of Kabul (Asne Seierstad) / ISBN 0-316-15941-7
5. Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes To Weep (Siba Shakib) / ISBN 978-0-7126-2339-1
6. The Dancing Boy (Roy E. Stolworthy) / ISBN 9781478193203


1. Afghanistan Over A Cup Of Tea: 46 Chronicles by Nancy Hatch Dupree (edited by Markus Hakansson) / ISBN 978-91-86936-25-9
2. Beyond the ‘Wild Tribes’: Understanding Modern Afghanistan and its Diaspora (Ceri Oeppen and Angela Schlenkhoff) / ISBN 978-1-84904-055-6
3. Rhetorics and Politics in Afghan Traditional Storytelling (Margaret A. Mills) / ISBN 0-8122-8199-3
4. Afghanistan: Land of Conflict and Beauty (John C Griffiths) / ISBN 978-0-233-00315-3
5. Bazaar Politics: Power and Pottery in an Afghan Market Town (Noah Coburn) / ISBN 978-0804776721
6. Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan (G. Whitney Azoy) / ISBN 978-0812278217


1. The Boy Mir: 10 Years in Afghanistan (2012)
2. Silencing The Song: An Afghan Fallen Star (2011), directed by Havana Marking
3. The Black Tulip (2010), directed by Sonia Nassery Cole
4. PBS Frontline: Dancing Boys of Afghanistan (2010), produced by Jamie Doran
5. Families Of Afghanistan (2011)
6. Classical & Contemporary Persian Dances (2010)
7. Rethink Afghanistan (2009), directed by Robert Greenwald, starring Tariq Ali
8. Mystery Of The Afghan Gold (2009), by A&E Dod Studio
9. Dateline Afghanistan: Reporting the Forgotten War (2009), directed by Bill Gentile
10. Afghan Star (2009), directed by Havana Marking
11. Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (2008), directed by Hana Makhmalbaf
12. The Kite Runner (2007), directed by Marc Forster
13. Motherland Afghanistan (2006), directed by Sedika Mojadidi
14. Beauty Academy of Kabul (2006), directed by Liz Mermin
15. View From A Grain Of Sand (2006), directed by Meena Nanji
16. Lost Treasures of Afghanistan (2006), directed by James Barrat
17. Shadow of Afghanistan (2006), directed by Jim Burroughs
18. Earth and Ashes (2004), directed by Atiq Rahimi
19. Stray Dogs (2004), directed by Marziyeh Meshkini
20. The Boy Who Plays On The Buddhas Of Bamiyan (2003), directed by Phil Grabsky
21. Osama (2003), directed by Siddiq Barmak
22. In This World (2003), directed by Michael Winterbottom
23. National Geographic: Search For The Afghan Girl (2003), starring Sigourney Weaver
24. Afghan Stories (2002), directed by Taran Davies
25. Kandahar (2001), directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

TV Broadcasts

1. Channel 4, Unreported World. Series 2012, Episode 3, 27 Apr 2012 (by Jenny Kleeman): “Afghanistan: Lights, Camera, Death Threats”
2. BBC Four, “Shakespeare from Kabul”, 5 Aug 2012 (by Harriet Shawcross):