Film for Thought
When you believe in something that’s bigger than yourself you fight to make yourself heard.
Journalist Roberta Staley is fighting for women’s rights in Afghanistan. Having traveled undercover to Afghanistan on several occasions, she took risky chances trying to create positive change. She’s responsible for the award winning documentary entitled “Mightier than the Sword” which has helped enpower women over there by giving them a voice to be heard. A major accomplishment.
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 on assignment for Elle Magazine. In Afghanistan no less.
The Story (in brief)
Roberta went back to Afghanistan three years 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 similar to that of Oprah. The Vancouver raised woman is actually 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.”
More to come