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The 2004 Margaret Mead Film Festival

What would it be like to start a beauty academy in Afghanistan just after the fall of the Taliban? Find out here, as host Elise MacAdam brings filmmaker Liz Mermin and festival director Kathy Brew to her table for a close look at this year's lineup of the Museum of Natural History's anthropological annual.

Perhaps because Kathy Brew has long been an advocate for experimental media, the program for her first year as director of the Margaret Mead Film Festival offers a healthy serving of interactive works such as the Web-based documentary, Perspectives on the U.S. Criminal Justice System.

Filmmaker Liz Mermin learned of the Beauty without Borders project in a newspaper article. With her first documentary feature, On Hostile Ground, behind her - it focused on the murder of an abortion doctor - she went to Muslim-ruled Afghanistan with an all-female crew to shoot The Beauty Academy of Kabul. Is beauty really such a light subject for a nation in serious disarray? Or is doing hair and makeup an important step to power?




Hosted by Elise MacAdam, this series explores contemporary cinema through interviews with and discussions about its most pertinent contributors and contributions.