22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
LFFI19_regionales Langfilmprogramm_Facing the Dragon_1

Facing the Dragon

Sedika Mojadidi

Following Film-Talk with Shakila Ebrahimkhil (protagonist/journalist), Bellinda Bartolucci (Pro Asyl) and Lena Ronte (lawyer).

Shakila is a journalist. She meant to interview women on the upcoming elections. But on the streets, she only meets men. A greengrocer explains: “If you are a woman, stay home. If you need anything, I will bring it to you. Why would you go outside?”

These scenes are playing out in 2014 in Afghanistan. The few freedoms women have conquered with the pressure of international society now threaten to disappear with the withdrawal of American troupes. Nilofar is already experiencing this. She is in the parliament as one of very few women. She has to deal with conservative men while trying to encourage young women to free themselves from their traditional roles in society. 

In Facing the Dragon, Sedika Mojadidi introduces two women demanding their place in a religious, patriarchal society while accepting the dangerous consequences.

The filmmaker was born in Kabul but raised in Florida. Since 2003, she has repeatedly visited and filmed in Afghanistan. For Facing the Dragon, she followed Nilofar and Shakila for four years.
Human Rights Watch awarded the film the Nestor Almendros Courage in Filmmaking Award in 2018. At the Savannah Film Festival, it was honored with the jury award Unheard Voices.


FRI 29th of March / Cinema at DFF / 6 PM

Shakila Ebrahimkhil was a nationally well-known journalist in Afghanistan who uncovered corruption and human rights violation before she took flight with her family in 2015 using the so-called Balkan-route and asked for asylum in Germany. Why did she decide to leave her home country and how is she doing today? After the screening, she will talk about these things to Bellinda Bartolucci, legal policy speaker of Pro Asyl, and lawyer Lena Ronte.

Discussion with: Shakila Ebrahimkhil (protagonist/ journalist), Bellinda Bartolucci (Pro Asyl), Lena Ronte (lawyer)

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Sedika Mojadidi
Year AFG/US 2018
Duration 80 min
Language original with English subtitles
Production Jenny Raskin
Cast Nilofar Ibrahaimi, Shakila Ebrhaimkhel and more
Camera Sedika Mojadidi
Editing Sinead Kinnane, Jon Nealon
Music Barney McAll

Presented by:

Hessian premiere