TV’s triumphant return to Afghanistan


It only took three decades. Wait, that’s a long time to wait to see the final episode of M.A.S.H.

In the opening scene of the documentary film The Network, journalist Ahmad Shafi describes watching a public execution in Kabul during the Taliban regime: “That had become the only entertainment in the city. There was nothing else… The country had completely shut down so people didn’t have access to media.”

Directed by Eva Orner, who produced the Academy Award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, The Network tells the story of TOLO TV, the first independent television network created in Afghanistan to fill the media void created by 30 years of war, repression and censorship. Since businessman Saad Mohseni first launched TOLO TV in 2004, the network has transformed from a nine-person operation to a staff of 900, filming and broadcasting everything from news reporting and travel shows to singing competitions and soap operas.

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