Netflix released the trailer for what’s sure to be one of its award contenders for 2022: In Her Hands. The political documentary, which credits Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton as executive producers, has not received a lot of buzz so far, but it did win an audience award at the Camden International Film Festival last month. The trailer for In Her Hands certainly makes it look timely, powerful, inspiring, and even thrilling.
In Her Hands spotlights and follows Zarifa Ghafari, who was one of the first women mayors in Afghanistan and the youngest to serve in the role. The trailer for In Her Hands indicates it’s not just a difficult job but a dangerous one. The documentary is directed by Tamana Ayazi, an Afghanistan native who escaped Taliban rule in 2021, and Frontline vet Marcel Mettelsiefen, who has made a few films centered on Afghanistan already, plus the Oscar-nominated Watani: My Homeland.
This year has unsurprisingly seen a number of documentaries involving Afghanistan, yet surprisingly they haven’t been given enough attention considering the significance of the topic of late. Like In Her Hands, though, the more notable of these films have yet to be released. One that I love is Afghan Dreamers, which is about an all-girl high school robotics team. Another is Matthew Heineman’s very current, in-the-moment feature Retrograde, which is at least a Critics Choice nominee.
Women’s rights are also a strong topic in 2022, with documentaries such as The Janes, Aftershock, Still Working 9 to 5, and Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s series Gutsy all reminding viewers that there are still issues of inequality in America. That only makes a necessary film like In Her Hands more relatable to Western audiences, though Zarifa Ghafari is surely shown to have a harsher experience, what with the assassination attempts and her country falling to the Taliban.
Netflix will release In Her Hands in theaters on November 11 before the film debuts on the streaming service on November 16.