Angelina Jolie lauds Afghan movie Hava, Maryam, Ayesha

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Oscar winning actress (and director) Angelina Jolie, who is also Goodwill Ambassador and Special Envoy to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has lent her support to first-time director Sahraa Karimi’s female-led Afghan film, titled Hava, Maryam, Ayesha.

The film, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week, chronicles the lives of, and the difficult choices facing, three Afghan women from different social backgrounds.

The Maleficent actress gave a shout out to Hava, Maryam, Ayesha, calling it a “delicately made and moving film [that] chronicles the lives of young women in contemporary Afghanistan. It shows the grace, beauty and spirit of Afghan women as they navigate marriage, love, friendship, family and motherhood.”

Jolie furthered, “Every film made in Afghanistan is a triumph against the odds. At a time when the future of Afghanistan is hanging in the balance, it reminds us of all that is at stake for millions of Afghan women, who deserve the freedom, independence and safety to make their own choices – in their own homes and throughout society as a whole.”

Director Sahraa Karimi, in a recent interview at the prestigious film festival said, “We would like to thank (Venice chief) Alberto Barbera and the Venice festival for inviting my movie and giving me a platform to bring attention to the issues my country is facing – in particular, the need to guarantee fundamental women’s rights in Afghanistan. Gender equality enables a country to gain prosperity and is fundamental for global peace.”

Hava, Maryam, Ayesha – made with an entirely local Afghan cast and crew and produced by female producer and sales agent Katayoon Shahabi from Noori – was also nominated for Best Fiction Movie at the recently concluded Venice International Film Festival.