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Enemies of Happiness (15*) + ScreenTalk with Heather Barr, Hameed Hakimi & Horia Mosadiq

Part of: Nevertheless, She Persisted

A still from Enemies of Happiness

Eva Mulvad follows Malalai Joya, a young outspoken Afghan woman, during the last weeks of her political campaign as she risks her life to speak out for democracy.

In December 2003, Malalai Joya, then only twenty-five years old, floored the Loya Jirga (a traditional assembly) with a three-minute incendiary speech denouncing the presence of 'criminals' at the assembly, and the power of these warlords in Afghan society.

Two years later, during Afghanistan's first democratic elections in over 30 years, Joya launches a remarkable campaign, conducted for the most part in hiding, dodging the daily death threats she receives. Danish filmmaker Eva Mulvad joins Joya in the last weeks of this seemingly impossible campaign.

Awarded the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, this revelatory portrait celebrates an extraordinary freedom fighter who won the hearts of voters, as well as a snapshot of life and politics in war-torn Afghanistan.

We're pleased to host Heather Barr, Senior Researcher on Women's Rights for Human Rights Watch, to join us for a ScreenTalk alongside Hameed Hakimi and Horia Mosadiq.

Denmark 2006 Dir Eva Mulvad 60 min

In association with Human Rights Watch Film Festival 


Hameed Hakimi is a Research Associate at Chatham House in London. Previously, he has worked as a researcher at various globally renowned institutions including the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).Hameed has extensive expertise in the field of policy advice, analysis and strategic communication. He has undertaken and published research on migration issues, the society and conflict in Afghanistan and Muslims in the West. His recently published policy research paper on the drivers of migration to Europe contributed to the findings that were presented to the newly elected UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, at the Vision Europe Summit 2016 in Lisbon.

Hameed is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. He has a masters degree in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck College, University of London; a bachelor degree in Politics from Queen Mary University of London, and qualification in research methodologies from University of Birmingham.

Horia Mosadiq is an Afghan human rights defender and journalist. Her human rights work has been recognised across the world, winning the 2007 National Human Rights Award in Afghanistan, and the 2012 and 2015 Women Rights Defender Award from Amnesty International. Mosadiq has served as Afghanistan Researcher for Amnesty International since 2008, Director of Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC) 2004-2008, Media Commissioner for Afghanistan Elections Commission 2005, Senior Adviser to Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission 2005-2006, Observer in the Constitutional Loya Jirga of Afghanistan in 2003- 2004,  and Political and Gender Adviser to the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, as well as her work as a journalist for many years in Kabul and Islamabad.

She has written on human rights, women rights and political issues for outlets including BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, France 24, Rueters, Voice of America, TOLO, and Ariana.

*This film is locally classified by Barbican Cinema 

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings

This film is F-Rated. The F-Rating is a classification for any film which is directed by a  woman, and/or written by a woman.

F Rating logo


photo of young reviewer jessa

Watch: Young Reviewer on 'Nevertheless, She Persisted'


Young Reviewer Jessa previews our feminist film festival, 'Nevertheless, She Persisted: Suffrage, cinema and beyond', and shares her favourite stories of the featured trailblazing women who've fought for equality.

Illustration of Malalai Joya

#ShePersisted Zine: Malalai Joya

Inspired by documentary Enemies of Happiness – about Afghan MP and activist Malalai JoyaOOMK chair a discussion on how to create space for Muslim, female empowerment in 2018. 

illustration of shirley chisholm

Watch: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Inspired by the 100-year anniversary of the first women gaining the right to vote in the UK, we present a timely season of feature films and documentaries that look at women’s rebellious and often dangerous strides towards equality.

Barbican Cinema 2