A Woman Among Warlords

The astonishing Wide Angle documentary A Woman Among Warlords, hosted by Daljit Dhaliwal, was rebroadcast on my local PBS station on Sunday. The film profiles Malalai Joya, an Afghani woman running for parliament in 2005. While the documentary was being filmed Joya was 27-years-old.

Child brides have been on my mind recently, and one of the most painful scenes in the film is when an anguished 13-year-old girl cries about the marriage she might soon be forced to enter. The man in question feels that he is entitled to this girl because he had recently paid her family a substantial dowry for one of his own daughters. Her parents try to protect her and offer him one of their older daughters (!!!) instead. An uncle sent to try to negotiate with the man is murdered. It’s sad and horrible. In the end the family flees to Iran. I suppose that was the happiest ending possible under these circumstances.

The New York Times review of the film can be found here.


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