Facing the Dragon

Two Afghan women strive to maintain hard-won rights while a parliament member faces death threats and a reporter reaches a crossroads.

Afghan woman in government
Doc World
Premiere Date
March 17, 2019
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
Diversity Development Fund
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2018 Human Rights Watch New York Film Festival-Nestor Almendros Award
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2018 Los Angeles Film Festival-Best Documentary Feature
  • Director

    Sedika Mojadidi

    Sedika Mojadidi is an independent filmmaker and producer. She directed the feature film, Motherland Afghanistan, (2006, Independent Lens) and has worked as a producer and camera woman for ABC News, A&E, Discovery, TLC, Guardian Multi Media and Human Rights Watch.

    Other ITVS Films
    Motherland Afghanistan

    Jenny Raskin

    Jenny Raskin is a documentary director, producer and executive producer. Her credits include Step(executive producer) Our Nixon (executive producer), Motherland Afghanistan (producer), andHere Come The Videofreex (director/producer). She also works as the VP for Development at the social issue film fund, Impact Partners.

    Other ITVS Films
    Motherland Afghanistan

    Elizabeth Tracy

    Liz Tracy is an experienced show runner and co-executive producer, and has collaborated with networks to create several top-rated television series. As an independent documentary-maker, she shot a film in Liberia about the 2005 presidential elections and worked on the James Beard Award-winning film A Matter of Taste.

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    The Film

    In a year fraught with uncertainty, filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi follows several Afghan women, within the government and the media, to tell the story of what will happen to them when the Americans leave. Through Mojadidi’s special insider access, we see the day to day realities of Afghan women on the front lines struggling to maintain the hard-won rights in a place where lawlessness, political instability, suicide bombs, and civil war are a way of life.

    Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi, a successful country doctor-turned-member of Parliament is running for re-election in her home province, Badakhshan, an area under siege by the Taliban and insurgents. She must win key votes but doesn’t have the money or the security staff to help against her rivals. Without international monitors for the election process, she is left on her own to run against warlords, drug dealers, and power brokers all threatening her life while vying to put their own candidates in her seat. Juggling motherhood and politics, she’s sent her children to live overseas while she campaigns, hoping they will be safe. Will she be able to win the election and survive escalating death threats?

    After eight years of reporting, Shakila Ibrahaimkhel, a top investigative reporter, is at a personal crossroad. Her reports on violence against women and corruption within the new government have put her life in danger and made her job tenuous. Shakila wants to try to seek asylum outside of the country, but she can't leave a profession she loves. Will Shakila be able find a way out of Afghanistan or continue to tell the critical stories that put her life on the line?