In the 2001 film Beneath the Veil, journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy helped expose the horrors the Taliban were inflicting on Afghan women. For the follow-up, Lifting the Veil, she returned to Afghanistan five years after the U.S.-led invasion. The film, which premiered on CNN late last year and is showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston tonight, found strikingly little evidence that the billions of dollars in Western aid have done much, if anything, to improve the lives of Afghan women. The images of schools opening and beauty businesses burgeoning, she reports, represent the lives of only a privileged few.
As she travels the country, Obaid covers the extremes of the desperate female population, from a clandestine revolutionary group, banned and in mortal danger if found out, to the tragic women in a small town where suicide has, for many, become the only way out of a miserable existence. 7 p.m. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
Mon., April 14, 7 p.m., 2008