To kill a Sparrow by a Photo Journalist from Iran is a touching story on the plight of women in Afghanistan. The story narrows down to a young lady known as Soheila and her boyfriend Naiz who is facing rejection from the family after running away from a forced marriage that the father and her brother arranged. It was really an emotional film I have ever watched. One of the major themes of the film is the role of women in the society. The other theme is on the aspect of innocence where the guilty are free while the innocent are taken to prison. The brother of Soheila commits the crime by taking another man’s wife and seeks to cover the crime by giving his sister to the man as compensation. The paper will provide a reflection on the film ‘To Kill a Sparrow.’
Social issues in the society are talked about in the film. People are punished for falling in love simply because of cultural and social issues. Soheila’s father explains his stand and actions from the cultural and Islamic point of view. He states that a father has full control over the daughter and can choose for her anyone for marriage. The daughter is expected to follow the commands without any kind of question. Soheila is given away at the age of 5 years to an old man. This really sounds outrageous for a girl to be given out for marriage at that tender age. Later on, she runs away from the marriage and seeks refuge and goes on to stay with Naiz Mohammed. They are then arrested and taken to Prison with no serious crimes but mere allegations. Soheila gives birth at the Prison to a son from the man she claims to love.
I was really sad at the statement of both Soheila’s father and brother. The father promises to kill both of them when the daughter goes on to marry Naiz. They said they are not afraid to kill and also to be killed. The government comes to reduce the moral crimes in Afghanistan by providing some laws in 2009. However, these laws seem not to function as Soheila’s father and brother stills swear to kill the three that is Soheila, Naiz and their born son. The issue standing out in this film is the conflict between the government’s laws and cultural or Islamic laws. Despite the passed laws by the government, the Islamic laws and culture mistreating women in the society especially the ones who believe in love still stood.
However, I felt good when towards the end of the film. Soheila is released from prison and taken to a safe house where other ladies who were a victim of the same situation. In fact, the Soheila’s father and brother try to reach her but they could not. Soheila, while in the safe house she was pursuing a divorce paper from the forced marriage with the old man. After a long pursuit of the divorce paper, Soheila gets what she wanted to divorce. The film comes to a halt when a good news that Soheila and Naiz got their freedom and stayed together. It is imperative that even though the problems Soheila and Naiz went through, they finally overcame.