"Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul" at Sundance 2011

Two years ago, Xeni posted about Skateistan, an innovative skate park in Kabul, Afghanistan. This year's Sundance short film program features a great 9-minute documentary on the park, including brief interviews with the manager and young people who skate there. Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, it contains some pretty shocking images of the damage the war has caused throughout Kabul. It also hints at the possibility for building "the kind of cross-cultural relationships that Afghanistan needs for future stability." Video link. (via SFF)



  1. Now get them some MTV and a McDonalds, and before you know it they’ll be killing each other over sneakers, which is much more civilized than killing each other over religion.

  2. I’m sorry, where’s the time machine that sent a young Orlando Bloom to Kabul. Is The Doctor involved in this production?

    Regardless, I’m looking forward to the full length production being made available. This was incredible.

  3. At first, I thought this might be one of those films where they pretend that girls don’t exist. Wonderfully, proven wrong.

  4. I normally don’t really care about skate culture, and when I first read about the program here I was one of the people saying “well that’s interesting but…”. After watching this and nearly bursting into tears I have to say I’m sold and will be tossing the program a few bucks when I get the chance.

  5. skateboarding taught me to give a fsck about the hate surrounding me. even the amount from other skaters who could not grasp the superiority of the freestyle skateboarding i still love to practice, i have to say, tongue in cheek.

    but fun aside, skating can give you so much, even if you do it on your own. it’s great that the skatistan project is spreading the magic. that they use it to promote social skills is even better.


  6. This is an amazing project that puts a human face on the Afghanistan people – especially the young people – and this film should be viewed by people of allages across the world so they can realise that kids are kids wherever they may be living and however harsh and troubled their live are.

    If this doesn’t inspire you to have some hope for the future then you must have a heart of stone. Go to their website and read more about what they are doing out there; drop the cynicism about McColonisation (skateboarding is not an american cultural exclusive) and see normal, happy kids simply having fun and being kids.

    If you know of a local skatepark in your area, organise a fundraiser perhaps (check out how much they have to spend each month just to keep it going) and get them to see the video and learn about Skateistan.

    Nice one Boing Boing once again for bringing something amazing to our attention.

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