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Reel History Film Afghan Girls Can Kick Chronicles Journey Of First Afganistan Women's National Soccer Team

May 7, 2012

Films Presented in Conjunction with the Manasquan High School History Club & Garden State Film Festival

REEL HISTORY Film Series: "Afghan Girls Can Kick" (Topic: Women's Rights)

Date & Time:
Tuesday, May 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Algonquin Arts Theatre
173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J.

Tickets: $5
Available for purchase online at or at the door (cash only)

MANASQUAN, NJ - The REEL HISTORY Film Series concludes its 2011-12 schedule at Algonquin Arts Theatre on Tuesday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. with "Afghan Girls Can Kick," an intimate fly-on-the-wall documentary portrait of teenage girls breaking the stereotypes as players for Afghanistan's first ever women's national soccer team.

Presented in association with The Garden State Film Festival and the Manasquan High School History Club, tickets for the screening are $5 and available at the door (cash only) or online at

Produced and directed by Bahareh Hosseini, the film follows the team during preparations for their first competitive international matches, concentrating on a number of the players and their journey from growing up under the Taliban, to their life in modern-day Afghanistan and their hopes for the future.

It was the winner of Best International Short Documentary Film at the Garden State Film Festival. The evening's guest speaker is local actor Brennan McKay, the adoptive American father to team captain Shamila Kohestani who is featured in the film.

This upbeat an inspirational film offers a rare and intimate insight into the lives of young Afghan women, showing them as individuals striving for a future and not just passive victims.

Under the Taliban, the freedom of women in Afghanistan was almost entirely curbed. For five long years, they went through life veiled, preferably indoors, excluded from education and, of course, sports. Now that fundamentalists are no longer in power, some women are seizing their chance to do what they could not before. The women of the national soccer team play with covered arms and legs (and when the camera is rolling, with headscarves). Because of security, no other international team has ever come to play them in Afghanistan, and NATO's women soldiers are no match.

Then the national team is invited to participate in a tournament at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad. For the soccer players, it is the first time that they will play a full-fledged game on a real soccer field. "Afghan Girls Can Kick" follows the players during practice and games, zooming in on the circumstances of the individual team members. Growing up under the repression of the Taliban regime, the girls are still living with daily danger and insecurity, but they are ambitious and hopeful about the future.