Dean O'Brien's Blog

DVD Review: Search For The Afghan Girl

with 4 comments

As some of you may know from my recent blog post I recently visited the Retrospective exhibition by Steve McCurry in Birmingham.  Without doubt the image which he is most known for is ‘The Afghan Girl’.  It appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in June, 1985.  After doing some research on the internet I came across a dvd which documented the search for the girl in the image.  Seventeen years after the original image was taken, Steve McCurry and a team from National Geographic magazine set out to find the girl in the picture.

The dvd documents Steve and the team searching for the girl through to the Afghan-Pakistan border.  FBI investigators apply cutting-edge eye-scanning and face-recognition technology to try to verify the identity of the nameless woman.   I don’t want to reveal the final result, but its well worth watching.

As far as documentary dvd’s go, this is very well produced.  Watching a programme such as this does answer many questions.  Questions about struggle and suffering from people who are born into a war zone.  It also goes to show how powerful an image can be.

In recognition of her, National Geographic set up the Afghan Girls Fund, a charitable organization with the goal of educating Afghan girls and young women. In 2008, the scope of the fund was broadened to include boys and the name was changed to Afghan Children’s Fund.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

August 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

4 Responses

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  1. As usual a thoughtful post. What I do wonder though is how successful this may have been if it had of been a picture of a boy.

    Being born into a war zone is never going to be easy. In some ways being born any place embroiled in conflict such as Northern Island or even some council estates in Britain is not good or easy.

    I suppose in the end it is all a sad reflection on the inability for us all to get on and live in peace. Now were is my gun….

    rick medlock

    August 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

  2. Yes, well the underlying issue is the fact that women have very little or no rights at all in many of these countries. Her eyes show despair and no much hope of a future.

    I take on board what you say though about being born in Northern Ireland or a council estate. Born into an environment plagued with crime, drugs or conflict is not the best start in life for anybody.

    Dean O'Brien

    August 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

  3. Yes that is true about the fact that woman don’t have many rights in many of these countries, but is it right for us to intervene? Showing desperate images of a girl brings me back to my original observation, would it have had the same impact if it had of been a boy who’s eyes show despair and not much hope of a future?

    Really, if we are unable or unwilling to sort out our own problems, how the hell are we ever going to sort out that mess. It is something that worries me on a regular basis.

    Just food for though more than an out and out criticism.

    rick medlock

    August 24, 2010 at 10:36 am


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