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Not without my sister(s) : imagining a moral America in "Kandahar".

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2005
<mark>Journal</mark>International Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number3
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)358-376
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Less than two months after 11 September 2001, and a few weeks after the beginning of the US bombing campaign in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush made an urgent plea to see Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Kandahar. Not only did the President want to see Kandahar; he encouraged US citizens to view it as well. This article offers two readings of Kandahar - the first suggestive of what its filmmaker Makhmalbaf saw in Afghanistan and the second suggestive of what Bush saw (or hoped to see) in Makhmalbaf's Afghanistan. In particular, this article focuses on how the Bush administration - against the intentions of Kandahar's director and star - propelled occidental subjects to 'lift the veil' on Afghanistan and on Afghan women by viewing Kandahar as if it positioned the feminine as a needy and willing object of US rescue. It was in part by laying this particular claim to the separated sisters of Kandahar that the Bush administration constructed a humanitarian US 'we' as among the foundations of its 'moral grammar of war' in the war on terror.