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September 9th, 2004
Hell of a Nation

About the Film

As Afghanistan struggled to adopt a new constitution, WIDE ANGLE filmed behind the scenes at the December 2003 loya jirga. The documentary profiles two aspiring Afghan delegates who face political opposition and physical intimidation as they literally risk their lives to participate in the future of their country. Both labor to deliver their political messages in communities with no mass media and very little infrastructure. “Hell of a Nation” also examines the frantic preparations of the international and Afghan logistics team as it scrambles to register potential delegates, distribute copies of the newly drafted constitution, and hold elections for delegates. The film provides a rare opportunity to observe the difficulties of defining the role of religion in a new democracy and to witness the practical implementation of nation building in a war-torn country. The broadcast coincides with preparations for the presidential election in October and the legislative elections in the spring.

Producer/director Tamara Gould is a former executive producer for KQED Television where she oversaw THE NOBEL: VISIONS OF OUR CENTURY, CALIFORNIA’S POWER PLAY, and THIS WEEK IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. She also executive produced the Emmy Award-winning weekly INDEPENDENT VIEW series, and developed and executive produced SPARK, an award-winning weekly art series coproduced by KQED and the Bay Area Video Coalition, a noncommercial media production center where she previously served as executive director.

Producer Bonni Cohen, founder of Actual Films in San Francisco, is currently executive producing THE RAPE OF EUROPA, a PBS film about Nazi art looting during World War II. Cohen recently produced/directed THE NOBEL: VISIONS OF OUR CENTURY, a PBS special analyzing 100 years of the Nobel Prize from the perspectives of 11 laureates. For the BBC, she directed/produced EYE OF THE STORM, a portrait of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Former films include They DREW FIRE, a PBS portrait of WWII combat artists; THE HUMAN SEXES WITH DESMOND MORRIS, an Emmy-nominated TLC/DISCOVERY series; and two episodes of the Emmy-winning EYEWITNESS series for PBS.

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