Marzia, My Friend

Finland | 2015 | 80 minutes | Kirsi Mattila

A Finnish documentarian befriends a young woman based in Kabul with big dreams but limited options, offering a window into the struggles of Afghan women and illustrating the possibilities and limitations of friendship.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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4:00 PM Date has passed Director Kirsi Mattila scheduled to attend

In 2011, Finnish documentary filmmaker Kirsi Mattila traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of a program to provide training for local female journalists. There, she meets Marzia, a young Afghan woman and television news anchor. Only 19, Marzia has big dreams: She wants to go to law school, and then into politics. She wants to travel, to be active, and to work for her country. But there are obstacles, too: Marzia has worries about the return of the Taliban after the withdrawal of international troops; she struggles with the disapproval of her neighbors (journalism is a problematic profession for women as it requires them to interact with men) as well as the ambivalence of her family and her fiancé. Once Mattila  returns to Finland, Marzia sends her an e-mail, beginning a correspondence and a series of visits that continue over the next four years. As Marzia introduces Mattila to her friends and family, offering a window into the country not usually available to outsiders, Mattila documents Marzia's life and her struggle to make decisions about her future. In the process she creates a larger reflection on Afghan women's position as well as the possibilities and limitations of friendship.

Director Biography 
Kirsi Mattila is a documentary director, screenwriter, and freelance journalist. Since 1994 she has written and directed a number of educational programs and documentaries for TV and film.

Sponsored by KPLU

  • Original Language Title: Marzia, Ystäväni
  • Director: Kirsi Mattila
  • Country: Finland
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 80 minutes
  • Producer: Elina Pohjola, Piia Nokelainen
  • Screenplay: Kirsi Mattila
  • Cinematographers: Sari Aaltonen, Alka Sadat, Malek Shafi’i, Kirsi Mattila, Hashim Didari
  • Editors: Hanna Kuirinlahti
  • Music: Pessi Levanto
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Galway Film Fleadh 2015 (Best Human Rights Feature), Montreal World Film Festival 2015 (Best Documentary), Stockholm Afghan Documentary Film Festival 2015 (Best Afghan Documentary), New York Queens World Film Festival 2016 (Best Documentary), Brussels Millenium International Film Festival 2016 (Young Vision Award)
  • Filmography: Niki and Niki’s Brother (2008); Small Events (2000)
  • Language: Finnish, English, Dari
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Filmdelights