The documentary’s webpage is here.
The Burqa Babes are surprisingly, refreshingly brash. They are not ashamed of what they have done. They are also funny; they see the comic dimension in their essentially Kafkaesque situations. They are clowns, ironic, as self-deprecating as they are aggressive. They make us laugh. They are ethnically and racially gorgeous in their diversity. They are from every tribe, every region, and they bear the genetic legacy of every conquering army. The women are hard on each other. Just as I’ve discussed in my book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, women internalize the same sexist beliefs that men do and are highly judgmental of other women, often without compassion.
Iranian filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian (kudos to you dear lady!) miraculously managed to get a camera and a crew inside the prison and inside some of the legal hearings. What crimes have the women committed? Apparently half the prison population have dared to fall in love, or are suspected of having done so, or they have dared to have sex before marriage, have run away from home, or rejected an arranged marriage. These are crimes in Afghanistan. (The other half of the prison population are thieves, smugglers, or murderers).
Among the “moral” criminals: One woman was sentenced to four years for having run away with the boy she loved. Another woman, the very spunky Kareema, who looks like an innocent child (many of the inmates do), fell in love, had sex, became pregnant — but the scoundrel who had courted her refused to marry her, which would have doomed Kareema to certain death. What did Kareema do? She turned both herself and her boyfriend in to the police. The only way this cad can now get out of jail is if he marries Kareema, who is very pleased that she has managed to turn her potential murder into an inevitable marriage.
…Back to the Badum Bagh prison: One woman on camera admits that she finally killed her husband. Naseema is 45 years old and has no regrets. “Men like my husband should all be murdered. He had sex with boys and other women and with a seven year old girl. I did the world some good. But it’s considered a crime. I have no pain or remorse. I’m glad.”