A Fascinating Documentary Guide to Afghanistan—in 1973

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

This grainy black and white Echo Newsreel from the National Archives opens with a shot of the Khyber Pass. "To drive north through the sullen mountains is to journey backwards in time, to an isolated nation that has consistently ignored the approach of a 20th-century world," the narrator begins. The ten-minute video, courtesy of the Internet Archive, gives a bleak overview of the history and politics of Afghanistan. The narrator's prediction for the future of the country is a bit of an understatement: "The remote rural markets have had little to trade, but the bargaining goes on in the traditional spirited manner. In fact, the whole country may have become yet another sensitive political marketplace, a future cause of international in-fighting." 

For more videos from the Internet Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/a-fascinating-documentary-guide-to-afghanistan-in-1973/257989/