During the aftermath of the fall of Kabul and the resurgence of the Taliban in 2021, Jennifer Lawrence, an actor, and Justine Ciarrocchi, a producer, pondered how they could contribute to the advancement of women’s rights. Ciarrocchi informed The Hollywood Reporter that Lawrence’s initial reaction was to find an Afghan filmmaker and provide them with a platform.
After a thorough search, they came across Sahra Mani, a director known for her 2019 documentary “A Thousand Girls Like Me,” which delves into the journey of a sexually abused woman seeking justice. Together, they embarked on a mission to shed light on the daily lives of three women in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s resurgence, resulting in Mani’s documentary titled “Bread and Roses.” The film premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in a special screening.
During the premiere, Mani expressed that the film carries a gentle yet powerful message from the voiceless women under the Taliban dictatorship, urging the viewers to be their voice. In an interview on the Cannes website, the director explained her motivation to portray the stark reality of how women’s lives have dramatically changed under Taliban rule, even if the filming process proved to be challenging. Mani emphasized the importance of sharing their stories now that women are restricted from leaving their homes without veils.
Considering the safety of the camera crews and those being filmed as a top priority, Mani, who currently resides in France, highlighted that the transformed lives of Afghan women under the Taliban’s control represent a harsh reality akin to living under a dictatorship. She emphasized the significance of acknowledging and confronting this cruel reality that cannot be ignored.
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