MUMBAI: Oscar-winner Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Emmy Award-winning Indian director Geeta Gandbhir’s new documentary “A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers” will be showcased at Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival.
The film, about Bangladeshi police officers, follows a unit of 160 women who, between June 2013 and July 2014, travel far from their families in Bangladesh to join the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
They form one of the world’s first all female, predominantly Muslim peacekeeping units. “We wanted to make a film about Muslim women who defy stereotypes. These Bangladeshi women are the breadwinners, who go out from their traditional communities to leave the men at home with the children.
“It’s a role for women in that region that we haven’t heard much about and these women do it effectively. It’s important for everyone to see that,” the directors said in a statement.
“A Journey of a Thousand Miles”, executive produced by Perri Peltz and Irfan Izhar, will be screened at the festival today.
It took three years to make the film during which both Geeta and Sharmeen spent time with the women “at least a week or week and a half every month” in Haiti and Bangladesh.
“Sharmeen, my co-director, co-producer is based in Pakistan, so she covered most of what we shot in Bangladesh and I handled Haiti because I’m based in NY (New York),” Geeta said.