And I Still Sing, the documentary that focuses mainly on two young woman about social change, fighting for their rights, and to make a life for themselves. It is a heart wrenching gut punch that will absolutely destroy its audience. Fazila Amiri directs this documentary and mainly focuses on two friends, Zahara Elham and Sadiqa Madagar. Both are trying to win Afghan Star (their version of American Idol). However, due to the war in Afghanistan, they have to do this against the backdrop of the Taliban possibly regaining power. The film, then, creates a powder keg effect for its audience. Intently, we watch these two women fight against the ongoing oppression.
The documentary also focuses on Aryana Sayeed who is an outspoken Afghanistan activist and a singer. She continuously has to fight the patriarchy and misogyny that exists in Afghanistan. And she is constantly risking her life to stand up for what she believes in. The film interweaves her story and her activism interweaved into Zahara and Sadiqa’s. In doing so, it amplifies how terrible the conditions in Afghanistan are for women. It also shines a light on topics that Western society appears to have brushed aside and forgotten about. It’s an ongoing war that rarely gets talked about anymore, but And I Still Sing exemplifies how difficult life still is. And that in reality, the things that Western society tries to forget are still very large and horrifying issues.
While And I Still Sing focuses on two girls in competition with each other, and a renowned singer, its message of the ideology of sisterhood and standing up for rights is its strongest moment. These women are constantly willing to risk their lives, their families lives, and anyone they practically care about to stand up for what they believe in and to get what they deserve. They constantly fight the oppression and terrorism they have been plagued with for most of their lives.
Fazila Amiri could’ve held back her punches and could’ve solely focused on some of the more positive aspects of the women’s lives, such as their friendship. Anything other than drilling home how hard life is. How repressive and detrimental it was for the Taliban to regain power. But there’s a thing that makes And I Still Sing so powerful. That’s its focus on the hardships and the risks these three women take. The film shows that there is always a fight even against the greatest odds. It doesn’t hold back, it doesn’t take anything for granted, it shows the fighting spirit that lives within us all.