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The documentary, from Tamana Ayazi (Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)) and Marcel Mettelsiefen (Watani: My Homeland) will go out globally on the streaming giant and in select theaters on Nov. 16.
In Her Hands will have its worldwide premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 9.
In Her Hands tells the story of Zarifa Ghafari, who at 26 became one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors and the youngest to ever hold the position. Filmed over two turbulent years, the film documents her personal battle for survival as her country unravels amid the rapid withdrawal of Western forces and the Taliban’s return to power. Faced with this new reality, Zarifa must make the most difficult decision of her life.
“In Her Hands is an extraordinary work of personal storytelling that offers us a rare glimpse and real understanding of what women in Afghanistan have faced in recent years,” said Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, who executive produced the film through HiddenLight. “When we first heard about this project, we had to be involved. We believe girls and women — and men and boys — everywhere will be inspired by the hard work, intelligence and pure determination of Zarifa Ghafari.”
Juan Camilo Cruz of production outfit Moondogs produced In Her Hands together with Jonathan Schaerf of Propagate Productions. The film began shooting in 2020 when Zarifa was Mayor of Maidan Shahr, the capital of Maidan Wardak province in central Afghanistan. By August 2021, the country’s capital, Kabul, had fallen to the Taliban and Afghanistan was plunged into a humanitarian crisis.
Mettelsiefen called the film a “wake-up call not to forget Afghanistan.”
“It is vital that the international community bears witness to the story of Afghanistan and provides real action to help its people,” noted Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens.
Added Ayazi: “It was an eye-opening and overwhelming experience to tell the story of my homeland, Afghanistan, through the diverse perspectives of a female politician, an ordinary citizen and a Talib commander. This is not just a film for me, it tells my story and the story of millions of Afghans.”
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