Duration: 00:09:07; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Lightness: 0.446; Volume: 0.200; Cuts per Minute: 25.086
Summary: Date: no date, prob. mid-1980s
it is a propaganda film about the enemies of revolution
Footage Source: Afghan Film 35mm positive
Original Reel No.: positive reel #21
In this propaganda short from the early 1980s, the poisoning of students in a series of Kabul schools and universities (as seen in these images) is attributed by the narrator to new chemical weapons deployed by the 'enemies of the revolution.'
Hassan Kakar's eyewitness account of the period
suggests a different explanation.
He recounts that a series of protests against the regime had broken out spontaneously among students during the months just prior to this incident, stemming from individual acts of rebellion (by students as young as 14 and 15) that took place at many of the same schools where the rash of poisonings occurred. The poison was traced, in some cases, to the school wells, and in other cases the source remained mysterious - perhaps gas canisters had been released and then removed. Regardless, after the students began to die, the protests stopped, and the people of the city drew their own conclusions about the source and motivation of the poison.