One Woman Takes on Drug Addiction in Afghanistan
In a country offering almost no treatment services despite a crisis of addiction, Laila Haidari took an unusual decision to found her own pioneering addiction treatment center and a restaurant where all of the waiters are recovering heroin addicts.
[NOTE: Due to copyrights, the full film is no longer available to view online.]
By Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
Laila at the Bridge is a documentary film that follows the labor of love of one woman championing the causes of addiction recovery, government reform, and individual freedom from oppression in the forms of addiction, poverty, and systemic societal misogyny. For us as filmmakers, the telling of that story is our labor of love. Gulistan’s Afghan identity and Elizabeth’s embrace of Afghan culture inspired a long-term dedication to birthing a film which gives voice to the voiceless and heralds the untold story of Laila's heroism, Afghanistan's internal drug war, and the many fellow Afghans who suffer the desolation of losing their personal battle with heroin. For Laila these addicted men and women are her children; for Gulistan they are brothers, sisters, countrymen.
As an Afghan-American couple, we are excited to present this story of a country that is so often represented from an outsider’s perspective. We hope that audiences will take away that no country is an island and the drug crisis in Afghanistan has a direct impact on the rest of the world, as Afghan heroin ends up on the shores of Europe, Asia and beyond.
Laila at the Bridge is an indigenous window into modern-day Afghanistan. Through Laila we will discover a different Afghanistan, a country that, like her, is continually revealing its layers and complexities.
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