Scene from the film Mohtarama
Scene from the film Mohtarama
Scene from the film Mohtarama
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  • Afghanistan
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In 2009, the Afghan Parliament approved the Shia Family Law, which was then signed by President Karzai. The law severely restricted women’s freedom, making it illegal for them to exit the house without their husband’s consent or resisting to their husband’s sexual demands. Mohtarama The Afghan women who were against this law, gathered and protested in front of Afghanistan’s biggest religious school where the law was written with support from Sheikh Asif Mohsini (an Islamic scholar and the founder of the school). The protests turned violent as the students of the school began humiliating the women protestors by beating, spitting, and labeling them as “Western followers”.
This was one of the first major movements by women for their rights. This seemed to be the right time to visit other provincesto learn about the concerns and challenges of the educated Afghan women and their hopes and expectations from women movements.
Muhtarama is mainly about the educated Afghan women and their common concerns that ranges from lack of political and social rights to domestic violence and troubled married lives to street harassment.


  • Original title
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Malek Shafi’i , Diana Saqeb
  • DOP
    Malek Shafi’i
  • Editing
    Esmael Adavi
  • Duration
    59 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Afghanistan
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • 2013 The International Exile Film Festival, Sweden
    • 2013 Asiatica Film Festival, Rome, Italy
    • 2013 Atlanta Philosophy Film Festival
    • 2013 DMZ Docs, Korea
    • 2013 Foto Festival, Heidelberg, Germany
    • 2013 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan
    • 2012 Afghanistan Film Festival, Stockholm, Sweden
    • 2012 Screening in US embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan
    • 2012 Special screening, ISAF Compound, Kabul, Afghanistan
    • 2012 Special screening, CDS Duke University, NC, USA
    • 2012 Special screening, Carolina Friends School, NC, USA
    • 2012 Special screening, Human Rights Day (10 December) UNAMA, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Awards
    • 2013 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, Special premiere (Winner) is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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