‘Final Moments’ – a documentary produced by Justice for Iran and created by Shadi Amin was broadcast in the second Herat Women’s International Film Festival, which was held from the 8th to the 10th of November 2013 in Herat, the third largest city in Afghanistan.
The second Herat Women’s International Film Festival was held by ‘Roya Film House’ and ’Armaanshahr Foundation’. The festival was additionally supported and contributed to by 40 non-governmental- and human rights organisations.
The documentary ’Final Moments’ was met with great reactions and applause from the audience, including Afghan women. ‘Final Moments’, which was created in 2013, raise awareness and shed lights upon the the practice of rape of virgin girls and female political prisoners before they were hanged in the 1960s. This documentary is based on interviews of nearly 100 female victims and witnesses of sexual torture during their custody in Iranian prisons. It is the first documentary to tell the stories of these victims of sexual abuse and execution.
The filmmaker of ’Final Moments’ Shadi Amin, which is also the co-director of Justice for Iran, have also produced ‘The Beijing Conference and Exiled Women’, ‘Women and the Art of Life’, ‘Mockingbirds Won’t be Silenced’, ‘Exiled Opposition and the Berlin Conference’ and ‘The Endless Nights of Female Prisoners’.
At the second Herat Women’s International Film Festival 19 national films from Afghanistan and 26 international films were shown. Also, 18 international and national films were shown in another forum of the festival, making the total number of screened films to 63 on issues dealing with the problems that women have faced and/or are facing. These films were chosen among the 500 films that were submitted to the festival.
Participants, including filmmakers, of the film festival were from different countries. 19 of the screened films were directed by Iranian directors, such as the Iranian documentary producer Marjaan Rayah. She was also a judge at the festival.
The objective of the festival was to highlight the importance of women in the area of film making and examining women’s issues through the eyes of women as well as offering moral support for women filmmakers and challenge traditional attitudes towards women. Furthermore, the purpose of the festival was to encourage women filmmakers to be more active, as this can change women’s identity in traditional societies, and to create a forum in order to establish a contact between filmmakers in Afghanistan and international filmmakers.
The screening of ’Final Moments’ led to protests by the Iranian Embassay in Afghanistan and threats against the organisers. No official announcement is yet given by the film festival’s organisers. The importance of screening ’Final Moments’ cannot be emphasised enough. It shows the experience of women during the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it is produced by a female filmmaker and it is screened in Afghanistan, a country which Iran is trying to influence by imposing its ideology.
You can watch ‘Final Moments’ online, here.