Kabul Express is the first international feature film to have been shot entirely in Kabul after the end of the Taliban. It was shot over a period of 45 days from October to December 2005. The cast and crew were sent death threats by the Taliban to stop shooting but the Afghan government provided tight security and enabled the shoot to be completed in Afghanistan. On some days there were more armed soldiers than crew on the location. John Abraham and Arshad Warsi share their shooting experience…
“Making this movie was like going through labour pain and giving birth to a beautiful child. Kabul Express was that beautiful child. I think it is the best script I have read in my short film career. The fact that Kabir was a documentary film maker and has been in and out of Kabul several times puts an aspirational quality to the film for an actor. Also, the character I play has a lot of real life Kabir in the film. The story was larger than all the actors. If the painting is good, all the characters in the painting look good. Trust me. That’s what Kabul Express is all about.
After the death threats from the Taliban and a spate of suicide bombings in Kabul, I asked my driver - Where do these suicide bombers come from? And the driver said - either the right or the left or the front or the back… Allah can ask for you from whichever direction he chooses.”
“I am very happy to be part of this film. Had I not been part of this film I would have been quite upset. This is one of those movies that you see and wish you were a part of. This is a movie that I’m proud of. It was my first trip to Kabul and thank God I went there because I don’t think anybody in his right mind will ever say - I am going to Kabul for a holiday! Thanks to Kabul Express, I went there. I am deeply touched by that place. It’s a very unique country. There is so much grief yet there is no pain. There is so much poverty yet they are always smiling. There is a constant fear of death yet they are so full of life. There are really more guns than mobile phones in that country. And this is one country where people are crazy about Hindi films. They do not just like the movies, they adore them, and they cherish them. You can actually break the ice with any Afghan by talking about Bollywood. I thought it was my license for survival in Afghanistan. If I ever get caught by Osama I’ll ask him if he’s seen an Amitabh Bachchan movie…and he will probably let me go.”