Women vs. Warlords: Malalai Joya Film

کوه هر قدر بلند باشد باز هم سر خود راه

If you're new to the project, please read through the description.

For supporters:
Up-to-date accounts have just been created please contact me for a copy 

There has been some changes. At the same time as the film is to be released we will release a large series of poems recited almost entirely by Afghan women, some Afghan men and some international people. The poems will be mostly in the main Afghan languages Pashto and Dari and some will be in English and Arabic.

I have decided to have the film and poetry edit done entirely in one go and not do a 60 second teaser.
The budget for money needed for this completion of the film and associated poetry is here.
Our translator is an Afghan and we will be employing an up and coming Afghan singer to contribute to the soundtrack. 

Translation               350
Initial Edit                 850
Completion edit    700
Musical Track         320

Total: 2220


Women vs. Warlords: Malalai Joya, is being created with the intention of amplifying the voices calling for an end to gender apartheid in Afghanistan. The film will particularly highlight Malalai Joya  and the causes she so fearlessly champions, in particular:  Women's rights, human rights, literacy,  justice and freedom.   

Please support us!
Detailed information follows

Land of The Afghans
From snow-capped mountains to dry arid desert, to lush forests and megalithic rivers. Afghanistan is the quintessence of beauty. The "stan" in the word Afghanistan means place of or land of.
More than 20 different languages are spoken in the land of the Afghans, it is a kaleidoscopic melting pot of countless ethnicities and tribes. Over a trillion dollars worth of minerals lay buried beneath its surface. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of Poppy fields flourish above ground, it is the main strategic corridor between the rich oil fields of Turkmenistan and the Indian ocean.
And for the past 40 years it has bled, cried and sweated under the relentless wraith of war.

Today, The Taliban control or contest control of approximately 50% (?) of the country. Islamic State has a rapidly growing presence within the region. 2018 and 2019 were the deadliest years since 2001. In the first nine months of 2019, more than 2,400 children were killed or injured in Afghanistan, which made it the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Transparency International rates the country 177th out of 180 on its global corruption index and the literacy rate is correspondingly among the lowest in the entire world....
Afghanistan is widely considered to be the worst place in the world to be a woman, and is one of the only countries in the world with a higher female suicide rate than male.  The situation for some women and girls is so bad they have actually set themselves on fire in desperate protest or as means of ending their lives.

Amid government failure and American bombs, among the fundamentalists-warlords-criminals battling for control and resources, through the years and different phases of dominion, despite often widespread unquestioned misogynistic traditional beliefs* many ordinary Afghans, especially women have risked their lives to empower their people. They have risked their lives  in the seeking of justice, risked their lives to bring the light of literacy and risked their lives to smash the bonds of subjugation.

*An important addendum to that point, as Laura Cesaretti says "I met more male feminists in the provinces of Afghanistan than in its diplomatic compounds" Misogynistic attitudes are absolutely not ubiquitous and there are countless egalitarian men in every part of the country. That said the attitudes that brought a devout and pious Muslim Farkhunda Malikzada to her hellish death permeate through the land. 

Malalai Joya is the author of  A Woman Among Warlords she was featured in the award winning documentary Enemies of Happiness .

One of 10 children of an illiterate mother, and one of 6 million Afghans in exile during the brutal wars of the 80's and 90’s Malalai learned to read in the refugee camps of Western Pakistan. At the age of 16 determined to help her people she crossed the border into Taliban controlled Afghanistan and secretly set up a school for girls.

In December 2003 as one of the few women elected to the newly formed, post US invasion, Parliament risking her life, she stood up and denounced many of her co-delegates as warlords who had no place in the assembly.

 One of the greatest criticisms of the US/International involvement in Afghanistan is how they have re-empowered and legitimized violent warlords of the nineties era due to their simplistic Taliban are bad everybody against them must be good mentality.

She railed against the hypocrisy loudly declaring that they deserved to be prosecuted.

As a result she was immediately expelled from the assembly and had to be protected by UN security forces present at the time.

Today she continues her work independently and secretly as her life is constantly under threat. Undeterred and indomitable she remains.

There are very few people on the planet like Malalai Joya. She is the focus of our film.


Diarmuid Brannick - Co-ordinator

Diarmuid Brannick is the author of the above text. 41 years of age, from Dublin Ireland. The first major project he was involved with was in 2001 when he put together a team and led the fundraising and logistical effort to bring 20 street children and 5 care workers from a shelter in Perm, Russia to Ireland for a 12 day holiday. The following year he co-organized a trip to the United States for a group of Dublin based Traveller children along with 2 Teachers and a care worker. During the 2000's he was on the board of directors of three NGO's and helped advise the set-up of Safe Passage Foundation, an organization devoted to providing resources, support and advocacy for young adults breaking away from religious cults. As part of that work he conducted a media campaign that helped see the book "Not Without My Sister" register within the top 10 hard back sales for Ireland the year it was released (2007). He has have been involved in multiple projects over the past 20 years.

Tim Hood - Camera Operator, Director

Tim Hood, Director of Photography, has a superb eye for the visual story and natural ability of capturing moments in History. Tim has an innate ability to conceptualize a director’s written narrative or the ‘chaos of the moment’ and transform it into a visual tale.

Tim’s sense of adventure and thirst for documenting has led him to travel widely, filming across the globe in Azerbaijan, India, Israel and the West Bank, Belarus and Hong Kong.

Tim has extensive experience working in both the television and film industry. He has shot features, shorts, commercials, music videos and live performances, news, current affairs and sports and finally what is closest to his heart, documentaries, for a variety of clients including: RTE, TV3, TG4, BBC, NBC, CTN Canada, SKY NEWS, TSR, TSI, DRS Switzerland, TF1 and CANAL PLUS France, RAI Italy, Sky NZ, Channel 4, ITV, HBO, National Geographic UK and BBC National History.

Tim has a natural flare for capturing unforgettable moments in history and this skill is clearly showcased in his coverage of Barack Obama’s visit to Ireland and in his footage of the Queen of England’s speech during her state visit to Ireland in 2011.

In recent times, Tim equipped with his own Steadicam Rig is a well known member of world renowned film crews in Ireland has shot “Rig 45” (Distributors – Viaplay Sweden and ITV UK) in 2018 and “Cold Courage” (Finnish Irish Co-produced Drama) in 2019.

Tim has always veered towards the documentary style of visual narrative. Lately, Tim’s passion for the environment, human rights and giving a voice to the vulnerable in our society has lead him in the direction of documentary film making.

Tim is HEFAT (Hostile Environment and Advanced First Aid Training) certified

Jake Mobbs – Editor
Jake is a London based video editor and film maker with 15 years experience. He is the co-director and co-producer of A Russian Fairytale. http://www.jakemobbs.com/


The photograph of the man with the balloons beside the pillars of a destroyed building is by Simon Norfolk. The militants in the next photo are members of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.


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