Making Soapies in Kabul
Hot Days, Crazy Nights and Dangerous Liaisons in a War ZoneTrudi-Ann Tierney
1 January 2015
Published by Allen & Unwin
On an impulse, Trudi-Ann Tierney, Sydney producer and former actress, goes to Kabul to manage a bar. She quickly falls into the local TV industry, where she becomes responsible for producing a highly popular soap opera.
Trudi’s staff are hugely inexperienced. They include Habib, the Pashto poet who wants to insert allegorical scenes involving fighting ants into the scripts; Rashid, the Dari manager, who spends all day surreptitiously watching uncensored Hindi music videos; and the Pakistani actresses who cross the border to Jalalabad (‘Jallywood’) to perform roles that no Afghan actresses can take on without bringing shame to their families.
Trudi lives among the expat community – the media, the burnt-out army types now working as security contractors, the ‘Do-Gooders’, the diplomats – in dubious guest houses like The Dirty Diana. This is ‘Ka-bubble’, where the reckless encounters with each other, with alcohol and of course with recreational drugs are as dangerous as the city’s streets.
Here are crazy people living crazy lives, and locals trying to survive as best they can against the backdrop of war.