October 22, 2018

Afghan actress appears in first movie that openly deals with sexual violence

By Ghanizada - Wed Jan 15 2014, 11:07 am

src.adapt.960.high.1389651132879The Afghan-American film actress, Freshta Kazemi, appears in one of the first Afghan movies that openly deal with the sexual violence in Afghanistan.

The movie “The Icy Sun” which was shot a year ago in Kabul, depicts a woman standing alone, naked and shaking after being violently raped.

Kazemi has struggled to make sure it’s shown uncensored as she thinks that the scene of a woman coping with her rape is poignant and important in a country where violence against women is widespread and largely unpunished.

“We have seen lots of rape scenes in cinema, because cinema is global,” explained 34-year-old Kazemi while speaking to Al Jazeera America.

She told Al Jazeera, “But this is a scene where she is just alone in the bathroom with herself, dealing with the wounds on her body. And the body is something that for an Afghan woman is not discussed, but yet those are the things that are violated, and that’s the thing that’s under dress and under control. It’s this big elephant in the room.”

The movie “The Icy Sun” has been produced at a time when violence against women hit a record high in Afghanistan last year, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission reported earlier this month.

Kazemi returned to Afghanistan in 2012 to act in Afghan films, after spending her childhood in United States. Being a thoroughly modern Afghan-American, Kazemi is passionate about challenging conservative interpretations of her culture.

She took the role of a rape victim in the film, “The Icy Sun”, in a bid to bring attention to the issue women are facing in Afghanistan after being raped, and imprisoned by law rather than going after her attacker

Kazemi during the first uncensored screening of “The Icy Sun” last February said, “The concept of honor for the men rests on a woman’s shoulders. Her brothers and her family feel that they have been raped of their honor.”

She said, the perception of honor means that society often blames the women who are attacked.

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