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by Sandra Schäfer & Elfe Brandenburger
Mini-DV, 71', FRG 2007

A film about actresses and methods to undermine the rigid gender norms in Afghan society.

Filmstills (to see more stills click on [>>] between the pictures)

The film deals with performative strategies to undermine the rigid gender norms in Afghan society: on the level of cinematographic stagings, in political work and in everyday life. The protagonists of Passing the Rainbow include a teacher who is also an actress, a policewoman whose second job is working as an action film director, an activist of the organisation RAWA which advocates the radical separation of state and religion, a girls' theatre group in Kabul, and Malek_a who lives as a boy to earn a living for her family.

The directors show excerpts of films from the history of Afghan cinema, accompany the actresses during shooting and stage new scenes together with them. The local actors are co-producers and a corrective to Western perspectives. Passing the Rainbow is a film staging scenes from the actresses' daily life, reflecting on gender relations and opening new areas of action in fiction. The film sheds light on the construction of representation, revealing interdependencies and contradictions between images, real living conditions and dreams and desires.


Aiqela Rezaie, Roya Fahim, Anonyme Figur, Hamida Refah, Nursia Anjomodin, Zobaida Sahar, Samat Sahar, Saba Sahar, Breshna Bahar, Malek_a, Sakina Habib-zada, Marina Golbahari, Nilab, Razi Mohebi, Khaleda Forogh, Mädchentheatergruppe (Amina, Homeira, Roya, Tamana, Zobaida)

Script & Director:
Sandra Schäfer & Elfe Brandenburger together with the participants

Camera, Sound and editing:
Sandra Schäfer + Elfe Brandenburger

Frank Vetter

Color correction:
Clemens Seiz

Sound design:
Martin Ehlers-Falkenberg

Boris Baltschun, Bounty

Sound mixing:
die BASISberlin, Ansgar Frerich


Funded by:
The German Federal Cultural Foundation, Cultural Affairs Department of the Berlin Senate

Supported by:
The Academy of Arts, Berlin