In 2007, Oliver Percovich and Sharna Nolan arrive in Kabul with little more than a couple of skateboards. In a country where children constitute more than half the population, Ollie and Sharna soon discover, that their boards draw local children like a magnetic force. After beginning regular skateboarding sessions in an abandoned fountain, one of the few smooth surfaces in Kabul, local boys and girls from the streets start to join them on a daily basis. These initial encounters, informal at first, eventually lead to the foundation of Skateistan, Afghanistan's first co-educational skateboarding school. The movie tells Skateistan's story.
The film follows Skateistan and its founders through the year 2009, documenting their daily struggle to break down social, gender and ethnic barriers between the children of a war-torn country. The founders quickly find out that local custom allows girls to practice sports publicly only up to the age of 12. They realize, that they will need a private indoor facility to continue work with the girls.
With a sense of great determination, Oliver commits to build a new, state-of the-art indoor skate park and after a year of skating in the empty fountain, Skateistan manages to construct a world-class skate park, complete with a half-pipe and a wide variety of ramps. But the new skate park is more than just a smooth surface; the facility also houses classrooms equipped with computers, locker rooms, and showers to promote basic hygiene and offers access to basic medical care. This is where Skateistan promotes assertiveness and individuality, strength and confidence, dignity and respect towards others, autonomy and, naturally, a love of skateboarding. Healthy habits, civic responsibility, information technology, the arts and languages are all taught in Skateistan's classrooms to over 300 registered children.
SKATEISTAN FOUR WHEELS AND BOARD IN KABUL documents life in Afghanistan without preconception or prejudice. The documentary is homage to an amazing aid alternative and, of course, to skating. A look at Kabul in a way that hasn't been covered by western media, at the austere lives of Afghanistan's children and the volunteers of Skateistan. The film has no political agenda, it tells the story of how a group of amateur skaters bridge ethnic, religious and socio-economic barriers to bring hope to the children of a war-torn country with the help of four wheels and a board.