Chronicling the 'Beauty Academy of Kabul'

Hanifa, beauty school student

Hanifa, a beauty school student, seen in The Beauty Academy of Kabul Shadow Distribution hide caption

itoggle caption Shadow Distribution

Filmmaker Liz Mermin's new documentary, The Beauty Academy of Kabul, is about a group of American hairdressers who open a beauty school in Afghanistan to teach local women how to cut hair and apply make-up, thus making them financially independent.

Mermin and academy teacher Shaima Ali talk about the film. Ali is an Afghan-American who returned to the country after fleeing more than 20 years ago. After she left Afghanistan, Ali moved to New York with her two daughters, attended beauty school, and opened a salon. The beauty school in Kabul was sponsored by the American fashion magazine Vogue.

Mermin's other films include On Hostile Ground, about three U.S. abortion providers, and the TV documentaries American Talent and Report from Ground Zero.

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