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Malalai: Policewoman of Kandahar cover image

Malalai: Policewoman of Kandahar 200?

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Filmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016; 202-808-4980
Produced by Polly Hyman
Directed by Polly Hyman
VHS, color, 42 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Middle Eastern Studies, Multicultural Studies, Women's Studies

Date Entered: 10/27/2006

Reviewed by Gloria Maxwell, Reference Librarian, Penn Valley Community College, Kansas City, MO

Malalai Kakar is the first policewoman in Kandahar, Afghanistan. For any crimes involving women—such as murder, wife abuse, divorce—she is put in charge. Malalai is an incredible role model for other women in Kandahar. The film follows this wife and mother of six as she investigates a local murder, obtains a divorce for a young woman abused by her husband, and assists a teenage girl forced to find prostitutes for her father. She carries a gun which she is not reluctant to use. “Anything men can do, I can do better,” she is proud to proclaim. Kandahar is a dangerous place, filled with drug dealers and terrorists. Women still tend to leave all decisions to the men in their lives, even those decisions that relate to whether or not a village will have a school or hospital. Despite receiving many death threats from fundamentalists who oppose women serving in such a capacity, Malalai continues to state "I am not afraid. I must pursue my duty."

This highly informative film is an eye opening video which challenges the traditional role of women in most Muslim countries.

Technical quality is acceptable. There is no audio, but subtitles covey the essence of events and conversations.

This video is suitable for high school and college library collections. This film would be useful for exploring other cultures and for highlighting women’s changing roles in a Muslim country. Suitable for classroom use and instruction.

Highly recommended.