HotDocs ’24: An Unfinished Journey

Directed by Aeyliya Husain and Amie Williams, An Unfinished Journey follows four Afghan women of position and influence – Nilofar Moradi, Homiara Ayubi, Zefnoon Safi and Nargis Nehan – who are forced to flee their home country when the Taliban take power in 2021. As the Taliban dismantle education systems and women’s rights, they watch from afar as the progress they once enjoyed is systematically stripped away. Even so, these women find a way to reinvent themselves and continue their battle for a free and just Afghanistan.

In some ways, Unfinished Journey feels like two different films. At the outset, it’s an exploration of the toxicity of the Taliban regime. We watch as these women attempt to grapple with life in a world where the respect and influence that they felt was quickly stripped away from them. Once in positions of authority, they are now told that their role is one of subservience, leaving them rightfully enraged. (“The most painful part is losing your country,” we’re told.)

And this fury is only exacerbated by their move across the world to Canadian soil. Although they’re finally safe from physical harm, they now find themselves forced to watch from afar as their country slowly devolves. This creates a different level of hurt as they feel helpless to intervene.

And yet, at the same time, this Journey sees the rise of their resistance. As they follow these four women, Williams and Husain show the fire and fury that lies within them. For Safi, Ayubi, Nehan and Moradi, the battle for human rights knows no borders. Despite their physical distance from home, these women never lose their resolve. Through the eyes of these women, the film becomes a rallying cry for women’s rights as they do what they can to mobilize government officials and the general public. As such, An Unfinished Journey is a testament to the determination of women everywhere, proving that distance is not an excuse to do what’s right.

An Unfinished Journey is playing at HotDocs ’24. For more information, click here.

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