A film by Amin Palangi
2015, 52 minutes
No. 009


A truly incredible documentary relating a truly incredible story, Love and Marriage in Kabul captures the seemingly impossible quest to challenge centuries-old traditions and values to make a love marriage happen in Afghanistan.

Mahboba Rawi, a strong-willed Afghan-Australian woman, and the founder of Mahboba’s Promise, has dedicated her life to helping orphans, widows and schooling girls in Afghanistan. She is the mother figure for thousands of orphans she has rescued.

Abdul, one of these orphans, is in love with Fatemeh, the girl next door. The two have been exchanging romantic letters for over a year and hope to marry one day. But Fatemeh’s father has other plans - he has decided to marry her off to anyone who can offer a large sum of money as her dowry. Devastated, Abdul is hoping when Mahboba arrives for her yearly trip to Kabul, that she will help him again. When Mahboba hears the story, she is very concerned about Abdul, and Fatemeh’s possible fate in a forced marriage. She is determined to make the marriage happen between Abdul and Fatemah.

However, Fatemeh’s father makes demands beyond anyone’s expectations. He won’t let the marriage happen unless Mahboba pays him $10,000 or finds a wife for his eldest son to replace Fatemeh’s role in the household. With nothing to Abdul’s name, the fate of the couple depends entirely on Mahboba’s ability to meet or negotiate the father’s terms. But she only has one month and limited resources.

* Winner, Golden Phoenix Prize, Fajr International Film Festival
* Winner, Audience Choice Award, Sydney Film Festival
* Finalist, Waikley Awards, Excellence in Journalism
* Official Selection, Margaret Mead Film Festival
* Official Selection, AFI Docs
* Official Selection, Full Frame Film Festival

"Three stars. An interesting portrait of the war between traditional ritual and contemporary aspirations in matrimonial matters in Afghanistan, this is recommended." - Video Librarian

"Sweet and suspenseful and full of observation about how old-fashioned traditions still linger in modern-day Kabul." - Library Journal

"Highly recommended. Watching the story unfold and seeing how the negotiations are made for these two young individuals is amazing." - Educational Media Reviews Online