Afghan filmmakers at Venice fear loss of identity, culture

VENICE (AP) — Afghan female filmmakers who fled the Taliban are begging the world to not forget the Afghan people and to support its artists. They spoke at a panel discussion Saturday at the Venice Film Festival, warning that a country without culture will eventually lose its identity. Sahraa Karimi, the first female president of the Afghan Film Organization, choked up as she told reporters about all that had been lost after the Taliban took over the country. She cited numerous films in pre-and-post production, filmmaking workshops, insurance policies that had all ground to a halt, and film archives that are now in the hands of the Taliban. She said: “Imagine a country without artists, a country without filmmakers. How can they defend its identity?”