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‘Talibanistan’ documentary by ’89 Nicholls alumna premieres Tuesday on National Geographic Channel

THIBODAUX – “Talibanistan,” a television documentary produced and directed by Tresha Mabile, a 1989 Nicholls State University mass communication graduate, will premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, on the National Geographic channel.

This is her fifth television documentary focusing on conditions in the Middle East; others were broadcast by the History, Times or Discovery channels.

According to a Geographic press release, “Eight years after 9/11, the Taliban has transformed into a hardened terrorist network, maintaining its rule along the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan in an area dubbed Talibanistan.”

The release begins with this quotation from a Taliban leader: “You can keep sending troops. No matter how many you send we will send all of them back in body bags and without heads.”

Mabile’s crew “travels into the heart of the Taliban’s operations with unprecedented access by the Pakistani military to go where almost no journalists have been permitted since 9/11 and interviews a captured Taliban fighter – something that’s been virtually impossible since 9/11,” according to the release.

The documentarians attended a town meeting with village elders “that is all too quickly interrupted by Taliban gunfire and an escalating battle outside,” the release states. The documentary also tells of a compound high in the mountains of Pakistan where boys as young as 11 were recruited and brainwashed to become martyrs for the Taliban.

National Geographic will air “Talibanistan” again at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 12, and at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 15.

Mabile, whose name heads a 43-name credit roster, is married to Peter Bergen, the CNN Middle East analyst who in 1997 interviewed Osama bin Laden. She is a native of Pierre Part and a 1985 graduate of Assumption High School.

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