Shadow of Afghanistan should be required viewing for all Americans. It should be shown in schools or, better yet, somehow as compulsory television to get the non-students, too. Okay, so mandating programs is not the way we do things in the United States; conservative influence would never allow something so easily deemed anti-war propaganda into most of our school districts. But the documentary, from Oscar-nominated filmmakers Jim Burroughs and Suzanne Bauman, is not merely something to suggest seeing; it is one of those films that mostly benefits those viewers with no interest in it, who would never consider such a suggestion.

An exhaustive look at the last fifty years in Afghan history, the film is vital primarily for its information, which I'm sure could easily be learned in a book about the country. Of course, movies are not only capable of attracting more people to any subject; their visual format often illustrates points more comprehensibly for people as well. A textbook could tell me how Afghanistan was very prosperous in the 1950s and '60s, but I am better able to absorb this concept and its significance by seeing footage of the country during that time, and by hearing stories from individuals affected by its subsequent economic change. The same heightened understanding can be applied to the Soviet invasion, the exile of refugees, the civil war, the rule of the Taliban, and finally the U.S. invasion.