Can an Afghan woman, armed with only a strong voice and a fierce loyalty to her homeland, overcome entrenched views and death threats to help bring democracy to Afghanistan? On March 2, David Brancaccio talks with Danish filmmaker Eva Mulvad about her upcoming documentary "Enemies of Happiness ." The film follows the outspoken and successful campaign of Malalai Joya, a 28 year-old Afghan woman running in the country's first democratic parliamentary elections in 35 years. The elections represented a special milestone for Afghan women, who had endured second-class citizenry their entire lives.
During the campaign, Joya's life was threatened multiple times because of her vocal and fearless opposition to the presence of warlords in the nation's government. But Joya's dedication also inspired many Afghanis to join her in the cause of real reform. "Enemies of Happiness" won the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentaries at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
The NOW website will provide additional coverage, including clips from the film and a look at Afghanistan's tumultuous past and present. A web-exclusive interview with Joya is available. A sample:
NOW: Have you made any progress in your hopes of having the warlords removed?
It seems that the U.S. government and its allies want to rely on them and install them to the most important posts in the executive, legislation and judicial bodies. Today the whole country is in their hands and they can do anything using their power, money and guns. They grab billions of dollars from foreign aid, drugs and precious stones smuggling.
The U.S. wants a group or band in Afghanistan to obey its directions accurately and act according to the U.S. policies, and these fundamentalists' bands of the Northern Alliance have proved throughout their life that they are ready to sacrifice Afghanistan's national interests for their lust for power and money. The U.S. has no interest in the prosperity of our people as long as its regional and strategic interests are met.