In 2005 Afghanistan had their first democratic election after the war. We follow political active Malalai Joya in her trial campaign to get elected. Due to her pointing out several Taliban warlords wanting them prosecuted for their crimes against the Afghan people, she has since been exposed to several death threats over the last few years, and has been under constant protection. But in her home county she is regarded as a national hero and has great support for her political endeavor. Written by
In 2003, as Afghanis assembled at their Loya Jirga to draft a new Constitution, and Western politicians and pundits celebrated the advent of freedom and democracy in Afghanistan, one young woman stood up in front of the assembly and asked a question that nobody wanted to answer: Why were the warlords, drug lords, and Islamic fundamentalists who destroyed her country participating in the new government, instead of standing trial for their crimes?
This documentary follows that bold young woman, Malalai Joya, as she campaigns to be one of the first women elected to the Afghan Parliament. Driven by a fierce belief in democracy, Joya fights to improve the lives of her countrymen, but she faces determined opposition from the traditional tribal leaders who seek to consolidate their power and preserve a way of life that treats women little better than slaves. As a result, powerful people want her dead and she (ironically) has to wear a burqa in public for her own protection.
The only real flaw in "Enemies of Happiness" is that it's too short. The film ends on a hopeful note, but Joya was recently kicked out of the Parliament and the US State Department had to fight to get her an exit visa so she could attend the screening at the Silverdocs Festival. There is more to this story than what was captured on film. But director Eva Mulvad did an impressive job in a dangerous environment, and she deserves praise for bringing us this profile in courage.
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