Enemies of Happiness

Rachel Shigekane is senior program officer at the Human Rights Center and lecturer in peace and conflict studies at UC Berkeley.

(Vores lykkes fjender, a.k.a. A Woman Among Warlords). When Malalai Joya railed against the warlord-dominated new government of Afghanistan during a 2003 loya jirga (national political assembly), she was banished from the constitutional assembly and catapulted to international acclaim. This enthralling portrait follows the young politician, feminist activist, community diplomat, and inadvertent social worker during the last ten days of her 2005 campaign for a seat in parliament, as she dodges death threats under cover of burqa, tries to reason with an opium lord, and educates a largely illiterate local community about the importance of using their votes. In May 2007, Joya was suspended from the country's parliament for criticizing other members-she likened them to animals in a zoo-but if this film is any indication, her political career is far from over. Winner of the HRWIFF Nestor Almendros Prize, and Sundance's World Cinema Jury Prize.

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