Television Documentary the narrative of untold challenges in Roof of the World: A case study of Trip to Roof of the World Documentary Film


Documentary is a cinema-journalistic genre which is based on real topics, real peoples and real positions. The long history of documentary with the transparency of its coverage is the main and logical reason to be accepted widely among people. This genre has been used and utilized as an informational and educational platform since its foundation.

Afghanistan film-making and cinema has been encountered to big challenges, contingent to the political instability, civil war and terrorism. The cinema salons closed during the Taliban regime and it reopened along with new government foundation after 11th of September 2001. The Afghan filmmakers has struggled robustly against all the challenges and problems, even their film has achieved international awards like Golden Globe prize of ‘Asama’ directed by Sidiq Barmak.

Documentaries and particularly the Trip to Roof of the World documentary which is studied in this article can be the voice and language of the challenges and problems of people who are suffering for a longtime in a rural and faraway region. It can negotiate, mobilize and advocate for such problems and make the stakeholders and the government to pay attention for finding a solution for the deprivations of people.

It expresses and indicates the most challenging situation of life in one of the outlay places in Afghanistan and shows the harsh environmental situation with impassable ways, child and maternal mortality in lack of healthcare services, chilling and freezing winter for more than 7 months no education and succinctly, the lack all basic exigencies for living in 21 century. The documentary is the story of deprived Kirghiz nomad people in Pamirs rural area which is called the Roof of the World.

Methodologically there has been used both qualitative and quantitative methods to describe the main message and core elements of documentary through thematic segmentation and analysis through Nvivo software, and for analyzing of the documentary role as an aspect of rural communication on audiences, the questionnaire distributed and the answers analyzed through SPSS.

The documentary of Trip to Roof of the World which has made as a news documentary about Kirgiz people who are living in Pamir rural area of Afghanistan mostly covered the problems and challenges, express the indicator ethnographic parameters and disseminated the message of people deprivation to all around the country to surge a robust advocating integration by civil society and social activists. Based on the case study of documentary film Trip to Roof of the World, the article depicts from one aspect the roles of documentary films in the social transformation of the rural region.

Key words: Documentary Genre, Television Documentary, Roof of the World Rural Area, Social injustice, Campaigns of advocacy.