When Herra, a Czech woman, falls in love with Nazir, an Afghan man, she has no idea about the life that awaits her in Afghanistan under US rule, nor about the family she is about to join.
While studying Economics in Prague, blue-eyed, blonde Helena falls in love with her schoolmate Nazir and moves with him to Kabul as his wife a few months later. She quickly assimilates into the family dynamics by changing her name to Herra and swapping a single western-style of life for her husband’s large family in post-Taliban Afghanistan.
She adores the grandfather, allies with her sister-in-law against her abusive husband. She supports her teenage niece, who is to be married against her will, striking a balance between the sheltered life of a married woman in a burka with her work for the US Embassy. But it is Maad, an abandoned child who she and Nazir adopt, who brings love and sunshine to her family. Leaving politics in the background while focusing on the family relationships, Pavlátová uses her skills as an award-winning animator (1993 Oscar Nominee, winner at the Berlin and Annecy Film Festivals) to bring the touching storey vividly to life, letting Herra and Maad drive the narrative with their insightful matter-of-fact commentary.
Michaela Pavlátová, Czech Republic, France, Slovakia 2021, 81 mins, English subtitles
Feature Films Annecy Film Festival 2021 Jury Award