Makhmalbaf Family Official Website - وبسایت رسمی خانه فیلم مخملباف

Afghan Alphabet

Mohsen Makhmalbaf tracks the children who do not attend school in the border villages between Iran and Afghanistan with his digital camera and questions why they are not being educated. He finds girls studying in UNICEF classes in one region. One of the girls is not willing to come out of her burqa despite the fact that she has run away from Afghanistan and the Taliban are not present here. She is more afraid of the horrifying god that the Taliban have created more than the Taliban. The teacher tries……..

International Awards: 
  1. Thessaloniki 4th festival , Honorary Humanitarian Award (Greece) 2002
  2. "Best Film Award"from Document ART International Film Festival, (Germany) 2002.
Director's View: 

The Taliban was not a political regime in Afghanistan but they are still a culture. Bombarding can ruin a political regime but it cannot change a culture. You cannot free a woman whom is imprisoned in the burqa with a rocket. The Afghan girl needs education. She doesn’t know that she doesn’t know. She is imprisoned but she does not know that she is a prisoner of poverty, ignorance, prejudice, male chauvinism and superstition. 95% of the women and 80% of the men in Afghanistan did not have the chance to attend school even before the Taliban. The film seeks the lost key to be able to open the lock of the cultural problems of Afghanistan.


Original Title: Alefbaye Afghan
Script, cameraman and director:Dự đoán kết quả xổ số miền bắc Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Maryam Ozbak
Ghafour Barahouyi
and refugees Afghans in Iran
Director’s assistants:
Samira Makhmalbaf
Hana Makhmalbaf
Still photography: Marziyeh Meshkiny
Sound: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Music: Mohamadreza Darvishi
Producer: Makhmalbaf Film House 
46 minutes, (digital) Transfer to 35mm, 2001
International Sales:
Makhmalbaf Film House
Dự đoán kết quả xổ số miền bắc Wild Bunch (France)

*All income generated from this movie is donated to the Afghan Children Education Movement.

  1. Gotteburg Film Festival, Sweden 2002.
  2. Fajr Film Festival, Iran 2002.
  3. Chicago Film Festival, USA 2002.
  4. Sao Paulo Film Festival,Brazil 2002.
  5. Nat Film Festival, Denmark 2002.
  6. City Page Film Festival, USA 2002.
  7. Seattle Film Festival, USA 2002.
  8. Pusan Film Festival, South Korea 2002.
  9. Document ART Film Festival, Germany 2002.
  10. Shadow Film Festival, Netherland 2002.
  11. Double Take Documentary Film Festival, USA 2002
  12. Thessaloniki 4th festival, 2002. 
  13. Hong kong Film Festival, china 2003.
  14. Rio de janeiro Film Festival, Brazil 2003.
  15. Istanbul Independent Film Festival, Turkey 2003.
  16. Munich Film Festival, Germany 2003.
  17. Berlin Film Festival, Germany 2004.
  18. Boston, Museum of fine Atrs, USA 2004.