Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 17, 2014

Foreign Affairs Gets Its Day

All of a sudden, foreign affairs are all the rage. The Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has become a major issue in the presidential campaign, war and diplomacy have been prominent features of the presidential and vice presidential debates and even Hollywood has gotten into the mix with the release of “Argo,” Ben Affleck’s nifty thriller about the Iranian hostage crisis that has quickly become Oscar-bait and box office gold.

Add to the pop culture stew then, the invite-only screening this Thursday of “Black Tulip,” a feature film by Sonia Nassery Cole about a family looking to rebuild a restaurant as a Kabul cultural destination after the fall of the Taliban. The film, which Afghanistan submitted for screening as its nominee for Best Foreign Language film for the Academy Awards in 2011, is set for theatrical release and video on demand in the United States on Friday.

The difficulties the family encounters apparently mirror some of what Cole’s film crew experienced as she sought to film on location in Kabul, using an Afghan crew and a Dari screenplay.

Cole has long been involved in Afghanistan affairs. At 16, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, she fled the country. As a young woman in the United States in the 1980s, she wrote to President Ronald Reagan imploring him to help Afghanistan fight the Soviet Union. She started the Afghanistan World Federation in 2002.

Cole will be on hand at Thursday’s screening at the Motion Picture Association of America’s headquarters at 1600 I St. NW.

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