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Afghan Filmmaker Just Wants to Flee: ‘If I Survive, I Will Make Films of What I Saw’

Cineasta afgana, El American

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Afghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat, became one of the voices of so many women now trying to flee the Taliban. Sadat is hopeful of surviving what she called “a nightmare.”

A report in The Hollywood Reporter tells how Sadat is looking for a way out of Afghanistan along with her family, she said that “if she survives” she will make a movie of what happened. In the meantime, he is waiting to know if he will be able to leave the country or if he will suffer the yoke of the Taliban.

Sadat, who won the Directors’ Fortnight prize at Cannes for her first feature film, Wolf and Sheep in 2016, now just wants to flee.

The filmmaker is awaiting news on whether she will be able to fly out of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport and says for that to happen she needs to have a letter with exact flight details and confirmation that everyone she is traveling with has seats, but the current chaotic situation does not allow airlines to provide such information.

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“It’s a great shock —we didn’t expect this to happen so soon,” Sadat says of the Taliban’s rapid advance, adding that he thought it would be “at least a month” before they were in Kabul.

She also said she does not know what her destination will be, but that for her “the most important thing is to get to the airport and to get out.”

Afghan filmmaker refused ransom, her family not included

Sadat was warned the day before that the Taliban would enter the capital and invited her to leave the country, but she declined the invitation because it did not include her family.

“Living in Afghanistan, your ears get used to hearing about how the Taliban are on the way, the Taliban are in this part of the country and that part of the country,” she says. “So you don’t really differentiate the danger anymore, because you hear these sentences all the time,” she explained.

The situation only became apparent over the weekend when he went to a bank near where he lives, and instead of the usual five to 10 customers, there were 500 people trying to withdraw money.

“Then the bank was evacuated and everyone was pushed out and thrown out in the streets, where I saw Taliban cars with their flags,” she recounted.

“If I survive, I will make movies about what happened”

Sadat says he is only thinking about the present and how he will come out of this, but noted that if she survives, she will tell in films what he experienced.

“I feel like like I’m observing, I’m watching injustice and something really horrible, and I just need to save it in my body, remember it and put it in films later, to share it with the world. If I survive this, I will make films about what happened,” the filmmaker finished.

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