BUSAN, South Korea — A Golden Globe-winning Afghan director who made the country's first post-Taliban movie says he's worried the group's resurgence may threaten artistic freedom again.
Insurgents have gained so much ground in Afghanistan that even the top U.S. commander there says if U.S. troops don't make progress in the next year, defeating them will be impossible. Some fear that the Afghan government may never control the south. The Obama administration is pondering whether to boost its current deployment of 67,000 soldiers.
The uncertainty brings back bad memories for Siddiq Barmak, who lived in exile in Pakistan from 1996 to 2002 during the rule of the Taliban, which destroyed film archives and movie theaters.
"I can tell you that for me, as a filmmaker, now it's very difficult to say, 'OK, I should go for my next project,' Barmak told The Associated Press on the sidelines of South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival Tuesday, where he was promoting his new film "Opium War."
The 47-year-old director said he was "so optimistic" when he returned to Afghanistan to make "Osama." The story of a mother who disguises her daughter as a young boy so she can become her escort – the Taliban banned women from traveling alone – won the Golden Globe prize for best foreign film in 2003.