For today’s Six Pillars to Persia, we focus on three films from London’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival: Camera/Woman, Morocco, Rafea: Solar Mamma, Jordan and My Afghanistan, Life in the Forbidden Zone.
From solar panels to features compiled of mobile phone footage the films cover a wide range of topics and film formats, see the synopsis below. The festival ran from March 13–22, 2013 at several cinemas and was a rare chance to glimpse carefully curated films highlighting human rights issues across the world.
Produced and presented by Sophie Lording, in today’s show we hear from director Mona Eldaief, writer Sarah Sharpe and director Nagieb Khaja. Broadcast Friday 29th March 20.30-21.00, repeats Wed 13.30-14.00.
Rafea: Solar Mamma. Rafea, a Bedouin woman living with her daughters in one of Jordan’s poorest desert villages on the Iraqi border is selected for a training programme called the Barefoot College in India. Rafea travels to join 30 illiterate women from different countries to train to become solar engineers over the course of six months.
Camera/Woman. With enthusiastic musicians and ornate wedding parties setting the stage, we meet Khadija, a Moroccan divorcee who works as a camerawoman at weddings in Casablanca despite both public opinion and unrelenting pressure from her family.
My Afghanistan – Life in the Forbidden Zone. Nagieb Khaja, a Danish journalist of Afghan origin, travels to Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province in Afghanistan. Journalists are not able to move safely outside of the capital, so contact with the civilian population in rural areas is almost impossible. But Khaja enables people living in outlying communities by giving them mobile phones equipped with cameras and asks them to film their daily lives, providing a rare glimpse into the daily existence of ordinary Afghans living in conflict zones.