With this breath I fly

17th september 2022

9:00 PM

International Contest

Short Synopsys:

At the height of the international occupation of Afghanistan, two women – Gulnaz, raped and impregnated by her uncle, and Farida, on the run from an abusive husband – are imprisoned on charges of “moral crimes” by an Afghan justice system that is supported by billions of dollars of aid money from the European Union.

Shot over ten years, With This Breath I Fly follows these two courageous women as they fight for their freedom against a patriarchal Afghan society determined to keep them bound to tribal culture, while exposing the complicity of the European Union in censoring their voices, and how the international press – and our documentary – forever alters the course of their lives.


Directed by: Sam French, Clementine Malpas
Production: Sam French, Leslie Knott
Producer: Martin Desmond Roe, Pinar Toprak, Chris Uettwiller, Jeff Zimbalist
Editing: Sam French, Morgan R. Stiff, Nick Bradford, Jeff Spinger
Cinematography: Clementine Malpas, Leslie Knott
Running time: 78
Country: Afghanistan, USA, UK
Year: 2021
Contacts: sam@developmentpictures.com, clementine@tigernestfilms.com, leslie@tigernestfilms.com, thisbreath.org

Director’s statement:

“With This Breath I Fly” is an intimate portrait of two heroic Afghan women who have the courage to speak out against a male dominated society, who refuse to be silenced in the face of overwhelming pressure. The film also pulls back the curtain to explore the behind-the-scenes storyline of how the European Union tried to block the release of the film and censor their voices, and how the press surrounding this decision altered the narrative of the film. In doing so it raises larger questions of power and representation – who decides whose voices are heard, what role does the media have in exposing injustice and shaping the narrative, and what responsibility does the international community have to protect women’s rights in a country like Afghanistan?