Hava, Maryam, Ayesha / Three Songs for Benazir
Afghanistan / 2019 / 87 min; Afghanistan, USA / 2021 / 23 min
In Dari and Persian with English subtitles; In Persian with English subtitles
Hava, Maryam, Ayesha:
Orizzonti, Venice Film Festival
Busan International Film Festival

Three Songs for Benazir:
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

Hava, Maryam, Ayesha

The first fictional feature by Sahraa Karimi, a documentary filmmaker and president of the state-owned Afghan Film Organisation, is named after its three heroines. Hava is a heavily pregnant woman who is forced by her husband and father-in-law to carry on with household tasks despite her condition. Maryam is a strong-willed and progressive TV news anchor who is facing divorce from her unfaithful husband. Ayesha is an 18-year-old girl who has been arranged to marry her cousin, despite already being in a loving relationship. Karimi weaves these three narratives together into a topical, enlightening and impressive character drama that counts Angelina Jolie as one of its biggest supporters.


Screened with:

Three Songs for Benazir

Young man Shaista is newly married to Benazir and living in a camp for displaced persons in Kabul, Afghanistan. Despite the abhorrent living conditions at the camp, the newlyweds make the best of their life together as Shaista tries to balance provid-ing for his family with fulfilling his dream of being the first of his tribe to join the Afghan National Army. Set against the 20-year civil war and the impending withdrawal of the US army from Afghanistan, Gulistan and Elizabeth Mirzaei’s documentary sets out to depict a different side of Afghanistan — not as a war zone but as the home of ordinary people leading normal lives and falling in love despite their country’s circumstances.

Hava, Maryam, Ayesha: Sahraa Karimi
Three Songs for Benazir: Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaei
Hava, Maryam, Ayesha: Arezoo Ariapoor, Fereshta Afshar, Hasiba Ebrahimi
* 30/10 9:00PM Broadway Cinematheque
04/11 7:45PM Broadway The ONE