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District Unknown in RocKabul directed by Travis Beard
District Unknown in RocKabul directed by Travis Beard

RocKabul directed by Australian filmmaker Travis Beard examines the counter culture campaign that the US government waged in Afghanistan, told through the eyes of a young band in the war torn capital of Kabul, where rock music is forbidden.

The documentary had its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2018, and US premiere at the Arizona Film Festival 2019 where it won the award for Best Music Documentary. RocKabul will make its New York premiere on Sunday June 2 at the Brooklyn Film Festival with a second screening on Friday June 7.

This is a documentary about Afghanistan’s first metal band, District Unknown, that existed on the fringes of Afghan society and beyond comprehension of conservative Islam. While living in Afghanistan for seven years, Australian filmmaker Travis Beard began recording his friends to chronicle a part of Afghan life that is rarely shown in Western media. The film features never before seen footage of Kabul and the underground party scene that existed on the precipitous of this fragile city. To challenge conflict with culture, District Unknown literally put themselves and their followers in the firing line. They became targets because their music connected and communicated to and with Afghan youth, the expat community in Afghanistan and internationally. We watch as the five unassuming young men: Qais, Pedram, Qasem, Lemar and Yousef come of age and deal with identity and freedom in a place where both can get you killed.    

Travis Beard
Travis Beard

Travis Beard is an Australian filmmaker and photojournalist who lived and worked in Kabul, Afghanistan for 7 years. This is Travis’ first feature documentary and will soon be followed by another Screen Australia funded film, THE COGS OF WAR and a book entitled THE BULLET IS FASTER THAN THE BIKE.

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