Netflix has announced that its documentary In Her Hands, from renowned directors Tamana Ayazi (Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)) and Marcel Mettelsiefen (Watani: My Homeland) will launch globally on the streamer and in select theaters on November 16, following the film’s September 9th world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
Filmed across two turbulent years, the doc from EPs Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton tells the story of Zarifa Ghafari, who at 26 became one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors and the youngest to ever hold the position. The film documents her fight for survival against the backdrop of her country’s accelerated unraveling. As Western forces announce their retreat and the Taliban start their sweep back to power, Zarifa and women across the country face a new reality. Amid these tectonic changes, Zarifa must make the most difficult decision of her life.
In Her Hands is a Propagate Production in association with Moondogs & HiddenLight Productions. The film was produced by Juan Camilo Cruz (Moondogs) and Jonathan Schaerf (Propagate). The Clintons exec produced alongside Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Isabel San Vargas, George Loening (Propagate), Siobhan Sinnerton, Johnny Webb, Roma Khanna (HiddenLight), Mettelsiefen, Stephen Ellis (Moondogs), Ayazi, Rob Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant.
“In Her Hands is an extraordinary work of personal storytelling that offers us a rare glimpse and real understanding of what women in Afghanistan have faced in recent years,” said HiddenLight Productions’ co-founders, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. “When we first heard about this project, we had to be involved. We believe girls and women — and men and boys — everywhere will be inspired by the hard work, intelligence and pure determination of Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan’s first female mayor, the youngest ever to be appointed, and her ongoing fight for women’s rights today. Ms. Gharafi’s story deserves to be told and we couldn’t be more proud and excited to help share this film with Netflix’s global audience.”
“It was an eye-opening and overwhelming experience to tell the story of my homeland, Afghanistan, through the diverse perspectives of a female politician, an ordinary citizen and a Talib commander,” said Ayazi. “This is not just a film for me, it tells my story and the story of millions of Afghans.”
Said Mettelsiefen: “Documentary filmmaking is always a journey into the unknown, but no one could have ever imagined what a dramatic journey it would be when we started filming in January 2020. Two and a half years later, we are faced with a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan that urgently needs to be resolved. Zarifa’s fate is one of countless Afghans and at the same time a wake-up call not to forget Afghanistan.”
Added Propagate’s Silverman and Owens: “We began producing this documentary in 2020 when Zarifa was the Mayor of Maidan Shahr. We were incredibly inspired by her story of hope and defiance in the face of not only adversity, but constant threats against her life. In August 2021, the world witnessed the fall of Kabul. One year later, the country is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has seen. It is vital that the international community bears witness to the story of Afghanistan and provides real action to help its people.”
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