In Her Hands is an eye-opening, sad documentary. The account is more personal and gut-wrenching than a detailed dive into Afghanistan’s complex politics and the war that led to the US fleeing and letting the Taliban starve out Kabul.
The film follows Zafira Ghafari, Afghanistan’s first female mayor and youngest. This undermines traditional laws and beliefs about female roles.
Afghanistan for many years, which irks many, including the Taliban.
Despite death threats, Zafira continues committed to her efforts to motivate young females and enthusiastic Afghan people to advocate for more equality.
The documentary flits between Zafira’s quest to be heard and a Taliban commanding officer’s perspective for balance. T
Everything until the final 30 minutes builds up to the Fall of Kabul, which is shot with a nail-biting and horrifically visceral atmosphere.
In Her Hands doesn’t avoid shock, and there are some tough moments. Seeing a school full of harmed girls by the Taliban is one example, but there are other horrible examples I won’t spoil.
It doesn’t examine Zafira’s character thoroughly. We’re told she’s steadfast and watch her shrugging off Taliban death threats for years, which seems at odds with Zafira fleeing Afghanistan the night the US leaves. I understand it wasn’t safe for her anymore, but seeing her abandon the people she’s supposed to protect felt like a slight.
A conflict between her and a close confidant is also touched on, although executive producers Hillary and Chelsea Clinton seem unwilling to depict Zafira in a poor light.
In Her Hands is a captivating documentary that offers insight into a tough moment in Middle Eastern history and doesn’t offer easy answers. An uneasy finish adds to the distressing footage. It has a few major issues, but it’s an excellent movie anyway.