Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan

Under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan musical instruments were destroyed and burned. The only music allowed was unaccompanied Taliban chants. Breaking the Silence was shot in Kabul just after the fall of the Taliban regime and portrays, among other things, the first concerts in the bombed-out city.
‘Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan’ (2002, Afghanistan/UK. Simon Broughton. 60min. Color. In English.)

Breaking the Silence was shown at the Freemuse organized 2nd World Conference on Music and Censorship, 2002.

Simon Broughton’s “remarkable film is full of poignant personal histories.”
The Independent, UK

“Breaking the Silence is more than a picture. It sings!”

Farhad Darya

Simon Broughton’s award winning documentary Breaking the Silence from 2002 is now available on DVD, with added extra performances from the Ensemble Kaboul and Mashinai the Butcher! There’s also the first broadcast of a woman singer from March 2004.

Breaking the Silence DVD can be ordered from

FELMAY website (order form with secure card system) or by e-mail from

 Breaking the Silence, by Michael Broughton, 2002.


Freemuse report on music censorship in Afghanistan
See also the Freemuse report on censorship of music in Afghanistan

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