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Mina Walking
by Mary Nyiri

Canada/Afghanistan 2015
Directed by: Yosef Baraka
Writing credits: Yosef Baraka
Principal Actors: Farzana Nawabi, Hashmatullah Fanaie, Quadir Aryaie, Safi Fanaie
Length: 125 minutes

Mina (Farzana Nawabi) is only twelve years old but takes care of her ailing senile grandfather, sells trinkets on the streets to earn money that is demanded by her junkie father, collects scraps of cloth from trash to sew into clothing to learn to be a seamstress and despite family objections, attends school. Her mother was killed by the Taliban. She lives with her father and grandfather behind a stone wall, in an area with a dirt floor, bare of furniture, no running water and with just a metal door to separate them from the street. Mina collects water, buys food and cooks the meals. She begs for fresh milk. When her grandfather dies, she must ask neighbors and then the local Oman for help to bury him before sunset while her father remains oblivious, completely wasted on heroin. She sews her grandfather’s burial shroud. They take him in a donkey cart to be buried.

After her grandfather dies, her life does not get easier. Mina realizes her father wants to sell her into marriage. She has a fight with her best friend because he also deals drugs. She angers the local drug lord which begins a series of events that end in tragedy. This is the story of a resilient young woman, left to fend for herself like so many more orphans and widows on the streets of Kabul. Shot on location, in a documentary style, the devastation of war and the lack of a working economy is startlingly depicted.