Making Soapies in Kabul 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       April 8, 2014


Author  Trudi-Ann Tierney

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-1-74331-427-2
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    


In a moment of complete impulsiveness, some may even say madness, Trudi-Ann Tierney agreed to go to Afghanistan to help out a friend of a mate who had just taken on an job as head of production for the country’s largest and most successful television broadcaster. LIttle did she know just what she had agreed to undertake, Kabul style.

The year is 2008 and the war against the Taliban is still raging, which would under normal circumstances make Afghanistan the least safe place to relocate to, especially when the TV option you discussed over an nice safe dinner party in Australia is not ready to begin soon, if ever.

A phone call in March from Paul, the TV producer already in Kabul, comes with a job offer of managing an bar in Kabul for four weeks while friends of his take some time out, and hopefully by then she, Trudi, would be able to start work with Moby Media Group, working on their various ‘soapie propaganda’ shows in production.

And so began Trudi’s Afghanistan adventure; a time of learning, living on the edge, respecting and coming to love, and occasionally understand the Afghan people through the medium of film and television.

This is her story of time spent in some of the most challenging situations in a country undergoing massive social and historic changes, let alone being classed as an war zone, and discovering that learning to cope is skill which can never be completely honed as life in an ever changing society always has something different to offer.

We meet some of the larger than life expats who keep returning to Kabul, time and time again, addicted to the lifestyle the people and the booze who all become friends and occasionally allies.

Through her eyes we rejoice with and respect the young of Kabul, who with the consent of their families are being allowed to work in a medium which is risky to say the least,  in an society where bending the rules even slightly can come with terrible consequences.

The frustration along with the almost hysteria and almost comedy that comes with staging a location film shoot, the euphoria of wining second prize in the Seoul International Drama Awards for Eagle Four, one of the first program produced by Trudi and her fledgling team for Moby, are just two of many stories which paint a remarkable picture of life on the other side of the guns and bombings.

Written with warmth, caring and a great sense of humour Afghanistan through the eyes of Trudi-Ann Tierney, TV producer, has a completely different complexion; one of deep and abiding respect for the people who live there and simply get on with trying to make the very best out of what they have on offer, which is sometimes very little.

Crazy, dangerous, eye opening and yes, revealing, you will enjoy every moment of this look behind the scenes to what really goes on backstage, not just in TV production but life in general, Kabul style.