Sadaf Rahimi is the best female boxer in Afghanistan, but she must deal with her country’s traditions, fear and her own fate in order to be a free woman. Sadaf and her sister Shabnam joined the newly created women’s boxing team at the age of 13, when they returned to their country after being refugees in Iran. Her boxing and academic achievements will turn Sadaf into an example for many Afghan young women, but her path will not be without threats and difficulties.

Director's Statement

BOXING FOR FREEDOM is a film in favour of individual freedom and against the traditions imposed by the society. We met Sadaf Rahimi in 2011 in Kabul during the production of another documentary in Afghanistan. Her story and personality, along with her parents and sisters’ character, made of her an extraordinary Afghan young girl. To such an extent that when she was 13 she joined the brand new Afghan boxing team without the consent of her parents.
Sadaf is not only the best female boxer in Afghanistan, but she also represents the empowerment of a new generation of Afghan women. It is not common to meet girls like Sadaf in Kabul, much less in the rest of the country. Besides, her personal story is linked with the last 20 years of Afghan history.

Sadaf is not only young, but brave and humble, that is why she became a symbol of struggle for the human rights of afghan women and she has also been recognised by the most progressive women in the country. Our documentary brings together the voices of these women that they are also mothers, teachers, activists or sportwomen.

We decided to give Sadaf a camera during the shooting to empower her even more so that she could decide what to film and show us. The shooting began when Sadaf was 17 years old and it has finished four years later. During this time Sadaf has been aware of her role in the Afghan society and she has faced her destiny becoming a model for other young girls.

BOXING FOR FREEDOM highlights the importance of the family and the school as core of protection and development of the individual freedom.

Telling Sadaf’s story was not easy, but as well as she did, we have also learnt to overcome the fear, to face new obstacles and to fight for our dreams even in the worst possible scenarios.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Juan Antonio Moreno, Silvia Venegas

Written by: Juan Antonio Moreno, Silvia Venegas

Produced by: Silvia Venegas, Juan Antonio Moreno

Cinematography: Alberto Gonzalez

Editing: Nacho Ruiz Capillas

Nominations and Awards

  • Documentary Selection 2015