View from a Grain of Sand

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(Meena Nanji, 2006, Afghanistan, Dari & Pashto with English subtitles, 82 minutes, DVD )

Shot in the sprawling refugee camps of the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan and Kabul, Afghanistan, View From A Grain of Sand foregrounds the individual voices of three Afghan women, each dramatically affected by the different regimes of the last twenty-five years. Principal taping began almost a year prior to September 11, 2001. At that time the issues of Afghan women’s rights were of little interest to the international community. Subsequently returning to the region in November 2001, the director was uniquely positioned to portray the extraordinary shift, which had taken Afghan women from being a forgotten population to becoming a focus of global outcry. Through the personal stories of these women, the broader history of Afghanistan (since the late 1970s) is elucidated, offering a first-person perspective on the socio-political context behind the situation in which the refugees now find themselves. The documentary follows the three women over a period of three years: 2000, 2001 and 2003, to form a continuum through a period of dramatic change going from one year before the Taliban fell, during the time of their fall, and one year after.

Director’s Bio

Director Meena Nanji has been working in film/video for the last ten years. She is known for her experimental film work, which has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Film/Video Fellowship Award, The Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, the Paul Robeson Fund Grant, the Independent Film/Video Production Grant, administered by the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts Western Regional Grant. Her work has won numerous awards and has screened at film/video festivals internationally as well as broadcast on PBS stations throughout the US and on European television filmmaking.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, 2 PM