View From A Grain Of Sand

Three Afghan women tell how international interventions, war, and the rise of political Islam, has stripped Afghan women of basic rights.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
82 mins


NEW! NOW AVAILABLE: 58min Version

2001 saw an unprecedented level of international interest in the lives of Afghan women living under the Taliban. With the Taliban's fall later that year, the U.S proclaimed the dawn of a new era in Afghanistan that promised peace, democracy and liberation for women. Years after this "new era" was declared, cracks in this story are beginning to appear.


Afghanistan is once again in the news, not because of successful reconstruction, but because of increasing violence and the highest rate of opium production in the world. And what about the women? Since 2001, the media spotlight on Afghan women has fallen, and with it, public knowledge of the current situation they face. What are their lives like now? Have they really improved since a new government took power? Have they gained any real rights or do they still live in fear and repression? View From a Grain of Sand examines these issues through the eyes of three Afghan women: a doctor, a teacher, and a rights activist. Illustrated with footage, interviews and archival material, their personal stories lead us through the minefield of Afghanistan's complex history, and provide illuminating context for Afghanistan's current situation and the ongoing battle women face, even now, to gain basic human rights. Shot over a four-year period in the sprawling refugee camps of north-western Pakistan and in the war-torn city of Kabul, the documentary constructs a harrowing, thought-provoking, yet intimate portrait of the plight of Afghan women over the last 30 years - from the rule of King Zahir Shah to the current Hamid Karzai government. The women are powerfully moving as they re-define strength and resilience in the face of on-going struggle, and give a full and visceral picture of a still divided and brutalized nation. As world attention has shifted to other crises, this project re-focuses the camera on Afghanistan, remembering the voices of those most vulnerable and most affected by the conflicts: women.

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • DVD Extras
  • Subtitles

Subtitle/Caption Languages

  • English

Promotional Material

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