Workers Unite Film Festival 2021

Afghan Women: A History of Struggle

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The tumultuous history of Afghanistan from the perspective of the country's female population, this film chronicles the stories of women who have risked their lives to achieve political, economic, and social equality, from the early 1970s to the present day.

Rare archival footage illustrates the amazing stories of women who participated in the revolutionary movement of the 1970's and the years of political turmoil that followed: from proxy war, to civil war, to the ensuing oppressive rule of the Taliban and the current sway of regional warlords and general instability.

These women shed light on the cold war battle between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R that was played out on Afghan soil, and the CIA's role in the creation of terrorist groups on the Pakistan-Afghan border that plague the world today.

The film goes inside a women's prison. It records the drafting of an Afghan Women's Bill of Rights by women from across Afghanistan at a conference in Kandahar. In scenes like these women debunk the commonly held myth that the U.S. intervention and the fall of the Taliban government brought Afghan women freedom.

The authors of American War Cinema and Media Since Vietnam (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) cited Afghan Women: A History of Struggle as one of only three films that "challenge the dominant ideologies found in contemporary mainstream American war films."

Drawing a line from the Cold War to the "War on Terror," Foster challenges viewers to examine how Afghan women have continually born the duel costs of American imperial ambitions on the one side, and the barbarity of feudal war lords on the other. - Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events, Queens Museum of Art

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  • Runtime
    69 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Kathleen Foster