Cabal in Kabul

This is the story of the last two Jews in Afghanistan. All the other Jews have left a long time ago. Isaac and Zabulon live alone in the abandoned synagogue…

For the past ten years, Zabulon and Isaac, the two remaining Jews in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, have been living in the courtyard of Kabul’s old synagogue. The elderly Isaac lives on the ground floor and makes a living by selling amulets to his Muslim neighbors. Middle-aged Zebulon lives on the top floor and haggles with the same Afghans over his illegally produced wine. There is no love lost between them; the two Jews systematically abuse and insult each other at every turn. Isaac is happy to divulge the fact that Zebulon collaborated with the Taliban and bribed them with financial and oenological favors. Zebulon, for his part, claims that Isaac converted to Islam; why else would he be called “Mollah Isaac?”

Region of Origin

Year of Release



86 minutes


35mm, Color


Dan Alexe

Dan Alexe, a Romanian who lives in Belgium and speaks a whole whack of languages – he can rattle off about ten if you ask him – and he taught himself Farsi to make this film. “It's an easy language,” he said. We almost didn't get to see this film. The film and Alexe's equipment were stolen (in Prague, not in Afghanistan) so he made the whole film AGAIN! (Relating this incident to Isaac, Alexe says, “I got very depressed. I started drinking.” “Oh!,” Isaac replies, “Did you bring me a bottle?”)