[06/27/11 - 08:58 AM]
"Love Crimes of Kabul" Goes Inside Afghanistan's Badam Bagh Women's Prison to Profile Inmates Jailed for "Moral Crimes" When the Documentary Debuts July 11 on HBO
Iranian-American filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian ("Be Like Others") goes behind the walls of Badam Bagh to give voice to three of these women.

[via press release from HBO]


Of the 125 prisoners at Badam Bagh Women's Prison in Kabul, Afghanistan, approximately half are there for crimes like drug smuggling, murder and attempted suicide bombing. The others are imprisoned for "moral crimes" that include running away from home, adultery and premarital sex.

Nine years after the fall of the Taliban, in a society where seeds of change are sprouting, but strict moral and legal codes of Sharia Family Law still apply, Iranian-American filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian (HBO's "Be Like Others") goes behind the walls of Badam Bagh to give voice to three of these women. Shining a light on the pressures and paradoxes Afghan females face today - and the dangerous consequences when they refuse to fit in - LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL debuts MONDAY, JULY 11 (9:00-10:15 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: July 11 (5:15 a.m.), 14 (1:30 p.m.), 16 (1:15 p.m.), 19 (10:45 a.m.) and 24 (4:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdate: July 13 (8:00 p.m.)

HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting a provocative new special every Monday through Aug. 15. Other July films include: "Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip" (July 4); "Mann V. Ford" (July 18); and "There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane" (July 25).

Granted unprecedented access to Badam Bagh Women's Prison and Kabul Men's Prison, as well as several Afghan courtrooms, Tanaz Eshaghian weathered dangerous and unpredictable prison conditions to craft intimate profiles of three subjects imprisoned and awaiting trial for alleged sexual transgressions, as well as their families and prison guards. If convicted, each could face up to 20 years in jail, although the sentence could be greatly reduced if the men in question agree to marry them, which is considered the only morally acceptable outcome.

Some of the young women's modern ideas about attraction and relationships conflict with more traditional Afghan ways. They giddily describe their boyfriends as having desirable attributes (good looks, intelligence, etc.), yet marriage in Afghanistan is traditionally a set of financial agreements and transactions between families or tribes. Since marriage is the only way to avoid prolonged jail time, much pre-trial time is spent negotiating terms of marriage between their otherwise reluctant families.

Kareema, 20, is a tenacious and fearless Hazara whose striking beauty belies a strong survival streak. When her boyfriend Firuz got her pregnant and refused to marry her, Kareema voluntarily confessed their behavior to authorities, knowing her only hope of avoiding ruin as an unwed mother was to leverage conservative laws to her advantage. By getting Firuz as well as herself imprisoned, she has more chance of securing him as a husband, as marriage is his only chance of release. If he won't comply, she faces years behind bars.

Aleema, 22, a fiercely independent woman with a quick temper and acid tongue, ran away from an abusive home and took refuge with a stranger named Zia. When Zia tried to sell Aleema to an undercover cop, both women were arrested. Forced to share a trial, they're now involved in a bitter power struggle. Zia demands Aleema marry her son as retribution for getting her locked up. Aleema knows Zia could never afford the dowry of a virgin bride, and only wants her because a "shamed" woman like Aleema will be the ultimate cheap deal.

Sabereh, 18, is a wide-eyed, innocent young woman who was turned in by her father, who found her in a closet with a 17-year-old boy. Though her virginity is proven intact by court doctors, accusations against Sabereh build in intensity, and it is obvious that her boyfriend's resistance to marriage will consign her to the cruelest fate.

A female guard at the Badam Bagh Women's Prison in Kabul observes disdainfully that the prison is full "because these days women are given too much freedom." The reality of women's rights in the country is much different. With courtship, marriage and sex strictly controlled by an ideology of honor, a young girl can be arrested and jailed simply for falling in love, or running away from home, both of which are seen as akin to adultery.

Though transgression can bring ruin to an entire family, and both men and women can be arrested, women are seen as particular threats to the fabric of society, and must be punished if they stray. As a social worker explains to Aleema, "A bad husband is better than no husband...None of this would have happened if you had a husband and a nice home."

LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL concludes as the three subjects receive Afghan justice for their "crimes," along with explanations for the rulings. Asked what will happen if people in Afghanistan are allowed to act on their desires, one judge replies, "Society's order will be ruined."

"I often look to tell stories about what it is like to live in the Middle East," explains Tanaz Eshaghian. "I feel it is important for Western audiences to understand the logic that governs these societies as they make decisions."

Iranian-American filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian's debut feature documentary, "Be Like Others," premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and debuted on HBO in 2009, receiving an Emmy� nomination. Her other documentary credits include "Love Iranian-American Style," "I Call Myself Persian" and "From Babylon to Beverly Hills: The Exodus of Iran's Jews." LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL was an official selection at HotDocs 2011.

LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL is produced and directed by Tanaz Eshaghian; co-produced by Christoph J�rg; music by Florencia Di Concilio; edited by Jay Freund. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

  [june 2011]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[03/22/18 - 12:09 PM]
Smithsonian Channel(TM) Reveals the Inside Story and Untold Events of a Deadly American Tragedy in "Waco: The Longest Siege"
The film provides an intimate portrait of a young Vernon Howell (later renamed David Koresh) and his Branch Davidian followers, who came from around the globe to join the Pied Piper-like figure.

[03/22/18 - 10:35 AM]
Video: "Pose" - Peek Teaser - FX
"Pose," FX's new original series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, premieres this summer.

[03/22/18 - 10:31 AM]
Video: Viceland Premeries Trailer for New Series "My House" About NYC Queer Ballroom Scene
"My House" is an insider's guide to New York City's hyper-competitive underground queer ballroom scene.

[03/22/18 - 10:05 AM]
CMT Elevates Morgan Selzer to Senior Vice President of Program Development
"Morgan is a seasoned and savvy development executive who crafts compelling stories across multiple formats and genres," said Keith Cox.

[03/22/18 - 10:00 AM]
All-New Two-Hour Special "Meghan Markle: An American Princess" to Air Friday, May 11, on FOX
The two-hour event will focus on Markle's life and potential legacy as the first American to marry into the British royal family since 1937.

[03/22/18 - 10:00 AM]
CBS Announces Season Finale Airdates for 2017-2018
"Scorpion" will now kick off said finales on Monday, April 16.

[03/22/18 - 09:44 AM]
"Shaquille O'Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam: I'm Still Laughing" to Premiere Friday, March 23 at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime(R)
Filmed at The Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the new special features comedy veteran and fan-favorite Bruce Bruce teaming up with Huggy Lowdown, Aida Rodriguez and Brian "Da Wildcat" Smith.

[03/22/18 - 09:23 AM]
Embedded with Survivors of the Parkland, Fla. School Shooting, CBS News Brings Viewers Inside a Movement as Students Turn Grief Into Action in "39 Days"
The one-hour special airs this Saturday, March 24 at 8:00/7:00c.

[03/22/18 - 08:34 AM]
Seth Rogen Announces All-Star Lineup for Netflix Comedy Special
Guests scheduled to appear include: Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Wolf, John Mulaney, James Corden,The Muppets, Post Malone, Nick Kroll, Kumail Nanjiani, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Che, Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious.

[03/22/18 - 08:32 AM]
"The Rain" Is Coming to Netflix May 4
In Netflix's post-apocalyptic YA thriller, two Danish siblings emerge from the safety of their bunker six years after a brutal virus carried by the rain wipes out almost all humans in Scandinavia.

[03/22/18 - 08:10 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Finales Win Tight Demo Race
The network edges ABC, CBS and NBC by one-tenth of a ratings point.

[03/21/18 - 11:21 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, March 21
Updates include: Daniel Ezra tapped to lead The CW's "Spencer"; Bernard David Jones lands starring role in FOX's "Our People"; and Karen Fukuhara is the latest to report for Amazon's "The Boys."

[03/21/18 - 03:35 PM]
Hallmark Channel Announces Season Two of "Meet the Peetes"
"Viewers have welcomed the Peete family into their homes and have fallen in love with their heartfelt and touching narratives that families everywhere can relate to," said Michelle Vicary.

[03/21/18 - 03:34 PM]
Hallmark Expands Pet Adoption Initiative, Adoption Ever After, with New, Original Special "Cat Bowl"
"Cat Bowl" will feature adult cats and seniors playing a feline Hall of Fame game, Saturday, February 2, 2019.

[03/21/18 - 03:33 PM]
Hallmark Channel to Launch First Ever Interactive "Home & Family" Dream Holiday Home Contest
The contest offers the chance for one lucky viewer to win a holiday-themed home redecoration that will turn heads and be the envy of decorators across the country.