04.04.2003 -

"Afghanistan Unveiled" Screened at UNESCO

Since a few months, a group of Afghan women has been seen in the streets of Kabul and in other towns of Afghanistan with their cameras and professional television equipment. By 1 April, the work has been completed and the first documentary film ever on Afghan women done by Afghan women was recently screened at UNESCO.

'Afghanistan Unveiled' is a 52 minutes story showing the adventures of the first Afghan camerawomen and, through them, the lives of the ordinary women they have met and filmed. This road movie is an invitation to see and hear Afghan women far from clichés and with no barriers, going from darkness to light. The film reveals a striking contrast between young modern women and their sisters respecting all the codes of their ancestral culture never seen before.

Over a two-month period, Jamila, Marie, Shekeba, Mehria, Halima and Gul Markai traveled throughout Afghanistan and discovered a daily life. In Herat, they met a young woman who lost her husband during the American bombing. In the North-east of Afghanistan, after days of walking and horse riding in the mountains, they met a woman from Badakshan who told them of her fight to improve health conditions in her community. The film provides "from inside" portraits of four Afghan women met in four regions of Afghanistan.

The camerawomen's first trips outside Kabul enabled them to discover themselves, their limitations and brought them a taste of travel and freedom. This unprecedented film is like a diary of their first steps in the discovery of their country and of their taste of freedom.

In UNESCO, before the screening of the film earlier this week; the audience was welcomed by Mohammad Zahir Aziz, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Afghanistan to UNESCO, and Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information. The screening was followed by questions from the audience and discussion with the filmmakers including two Afghan camerawomen. The film was produced under the supervision of two French journalists, Brigitte Brault and Florent Milesi.

UNESCO supported the film in cooperation with the French NGO AÏNA. Apart from UNESCO, the other funding partners are the Asia Foundation and the International Organization for Migration.

The topics for the next film will be Women and human rights as well as Women and politics. The production team hope that the films will be bought and broadcast by international Television stations. There has already been some interest from channels in Europe to show the film.




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