Since the US invaded Afghanistan, the country’s land has harboured the largest cultivation of opium in the world. And as a result, Afghanistan has the highest rate of opium addiction in the world. Laila Haidari is known as the ‘mother of the addicts’; relentlessly and fearlessly rehabilitating addicts who she finds on the streets of Kabul. This documentary follows self-declared ‘badass’ Laila as she fights a severe drug crisis within an unstable and corrupt society. Under a bridge in Kabul, a large group opium addicts get high or wait for their next dose – it is here that Laila walks to talk to people and take them to her recovery clinic, where they receive a month’s non-medical detox, shelter and bath, and continuous NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings.
Directors Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei follow a detox group for one month as they face a tough uphill climb of recovery, and explore Laila’s motivations for her saintly yet fierce work in her community. Laila at the Bridge uses this unique, empowering story to explore the current state of Kabul, where war, corruption and international drug deals threaten the welfare of the people.
Laila at the Bridge screens daily from Fri 3rd Aug as part of our summer season, Rebel with a Cause.