Culture/Film: Mightier than the Sword

Film for Thought

When you believe in something that’s bigger than yourself you fight to make yourself heard.

Journalist Roberta Staley took big chances to fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan to enpower them by helping to give them a voice that would be heard.  She was responsible for creating an award winning documentary entitled “Mightier than the Sword”.  It’s a major accomplishment.

Rahibib Rahimi (L) and Roberta Staley (R)

I first met Roberta in a Spanish class over coffee in 2012 and was intrigued when she said she’d be leaving for a few weeks to go undercover on assignment for Elle Magazine. In Afghanistan no less.

The Story

She went back to Afghanistan later to tell the story of Mozhdah Jamalzadah, a regular person here and a superstar in Afghanistan where she’s a powerful voice for women.  The Vancouver raised woman is referred to as the ‘Oprah of Afghanistan’.

This 48-minute documentary focuses on Afghan female journalists and filmmakers and their impact on gender perceptions and gender equality. In Afghanistan, a significant advance since the fall of the Taliban has been the entry of women into the media as reporters, directors, writers, producers and authors.

Excerpt by Lucas Aykroyd from Vancouver Magazine:

The powerful debut by Vancouver filmmaker Roberta Staley examines the impact of female media personalities in Afghanistan’s fight for gender equality. Staley, an award-winning editor and longtime contributor to Vancouver magazine, created the new 48-minute film to complete her Master’s degree in graduate liberal studies at SFU. After spending three weeks in 2012 in the Central Asian nation on assignment for Elle, she returned there in 2015 to shoot Mightier Than the Sword in 35 C weather during Ramadan. Staley remortgaged her condo to finish the film, which cost her more than $80,000. “That’s what you do when you believe in something,” she says. “I was obsessed with telling this story about the media and how it was changing gender perceptions and gender equality.”

View Trailer:

http://www.mightierthanthesword.ca/videos/

More to come

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