Tina Fey to Adapt & Star in Karen Barker's 'The Taliban Shuffle': Why We're Skeptical
I don't know about this: Tina Fey has announced that her next project will be producing and starring in a film version of Karen Barker's memoir, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Lorne Michaels is producing and Fey's fellow 30 Rock alum Robert Carlock is writing the script; no director has yet been announced. The book is Barker's own personal account of her time spent as a journalist living in the South Asian war correspondent for The Chicago Tribune for nearly five years; the book details her experience trying to navigate the culture shock of living as an American journalist in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 2000's.
I'm made uneasy even by the title of the book; it rings of the self-absorption of Eat, Pray, Love, using a foreign region with many crucial issues as a background for a white woman's personal struggle and development. Hopefully Barker will be involved in the project and her journalistic experience will lend to an accuracy in the film; there is already a seriously skewed perception of Islamic nations in the Western media, and there's no need for Fey and co. to further it. The Taliban Shuffle, if done correctly, could potentially at least reopen a discussion about "the forgotten war," the visibility of some wars over others, and how the media prioritizes which conflicts get press; hopefully it will not be a "me, me, me" movie, but I'm skeptical about this early news.