This Family Documented Their Journey Escaping the Taliban

This family filmed their journey through Europe after escaping the Taliban—now it’s a documentary.
“They decide to document their life and their experience on their mobile phones,” the documentary’s editor and co-producer Emelie Mahdavian said. “The journey from Central Asia to Europe is pretty notoriously dangerous. So attacks by neo-Nazis, you know, really difficult conditions in camps. They end up having to sleep in various makeshift circumstances.”
Hassan Fazili is an Afghan filmmaker. In 2015, he fled Afghanistan which his wife and two daughters, fearing persecution from a documentary he made about a former Taliban commander. He sent the footage to Mahdavian in the U.S. who edited it together
“The family is documenting the whole of their life across these multiple years of travel,” she explained. “And so, it’s as much about what it feels like and how a family tries to maintain normalcy across this long journey as it is about the kind of difficult circumstances that they encounter.”
The footage shows unimaginable challenges alongside moments of joy and tenderness. Eventually, the family made it to Germany, where they are currently awaiting asylum.
“In some scenes, I enjoy shooting the beautiful images but was simultaneously crying behind the camera,” Fazili said. “…I was comforted by the idea that we did not have a role in creating these problems, and this is not my fault, and then I was able to work again.”