Die. Or Die Trying: Escaping the Taliban 

This one-hour documentary film, produced by Addi Road, depicts the gripping and emotional experience of 15 young women from Kabul as the Taliban invade their city and seize power.

Hiding in a single room while the Taliban fire off guns in the streets and go door-to-door seeking sex slaves and wives, a terrified group of female high school and university students must puzzle out how to flee Afghanistan “or die trying”. They make contact by phone with community activists in Australia and chart a dangerous undercover journey by night through Kabul, then across international borders to freedom. Here they must begin a new life in Sydney while still grieving for the world they have lost.

Told through the direct accounts of three of the young women – and the activists they reached out to – this is the story of 15 young women’s faith in their right to education and equality. A life-or-death belief symbolic of the struggle for self-determination that all Afghan women are now going through under the Taliban. It’s also the story of how a community far away mobilizes to support a group of young women when they hear their calls, guiding them to safety against all the odds.

In making this film, Addison Road Community Organisation is seeking to give a voice to these powerful women, to increase understanding in Australia and around the world of the drivers of human displacement and the faces and stories of its victims, as an antidote to the false narratives and lies told about refugees everywhere and to demonstrate that good people can reclaim their sense of humanity from Governments that continue to shatter the concepts of global solidarity and shared humanity.

‘Die. Or Die Trying: Escaping the Taliban’ is an Addi Road Production.

Cinematography Dan Guia. Music by Motor Array. Special thanks to Marwa Moeen, Farhat Nazari and Farhat Kohistani for telling their story.

Thanks too to those who heard their appeals for help and answered them as part of the greater Addi Road community, especially Tamkin Hakim, Rosanna Barbero, Craig Foster and Mostafa ‘Moz’ Azamitabar. Thanks also to Inner West Council for partial funding.