Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Washington Post correspondent and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Politicians mocked in Afghan take on The Office

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-08-16

Corruption, ineptitude, nepotism… the latest comedy on Afghan TV is far from subtle when it comes to portraying politicians. Inspired by British hit The Office, the show is the first of its kind in the country, where freedom of expression is scarce.

British comedy hit The Office (which gave birth to the somewhat less droll US version), tells the story of a pitifully incompetent boss. In Afghanistan, it’s corrupt politicians who have fallen victim to the satirical hammer.

The eight-part series illustrates the Ministry of Rubbish in the imaginary country of Hechland, which means “Nothingland” in Dari. Minister of Rubbish Mr Daoulat is a cringe-worthy depiction of Afghan politicians; corrupt, incompetent, and with a staff – from his officials to his butler – compiled entirely through favouritism.
 
 
Poking fun at the government
 
Like The Office, The Ministry is a mock-documentary that misses nothing. A petty argument over a stapler, an aged security guard falling asleep at the barrel of his rifle, endless disputes over women’s rights, suicide bombers and loyalty to the president; it’s all “caught” on camera.
 
The daring satire is the first of its kind in Afghanistan. “If you look at the United States and Europe, they are always poking fun at the government,” Abazar Khayami, a senior producer from the show told Reuters. “But in doing that here we really don't know what to expect," he added.
 
A stable television and radio presence itself is something of a novelty in Afghanistan, where the established broadcasting service, launched in 1974, was dismantled after the 1996 Taliban takeover. Even today, with the Taliban no longer in power, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders still places the country among the 30 most deprived of press freedom.
 
 
‘More than just comedy’
 
Trudi Ann Tierney, a senior manager at the production company behind the series, stressed that the show will not fear addressing topical political issues, in an interview with Reuters.
 
Producer Khayami said there was “nothing to be concerned about” in poking fun at the government, but was more worried about “how open Afghans are to this style of comedy".
 
Meanwhile, in the UK, news of the show has reached Ricky Gervais, mastermind and lead actor of The Office. “They found a fat, annoying middle-aged bloke with a beard,” he said on his blog. “That was a bit easy.”

Date created : 2011-08-16

  • SYRIA

    Assad regime falls victim to ‘weapon of mass derision’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)