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In August 2021, staff at the most widely read newspaper in Kabul, ‘Etilaat Roz’, are left with an impossible choice after the Taliban seize power: stay and continue reporting—risking torture, imprisonment, and death—or join thousands of others attempting to flee the country. ‘Etilaat Roz’ staff member Abbas Rezaie films his colleagues as they navigate the days that changed their lives and the direction of the country.   


From inside the office of the city’s most widely read newspaper, The Etilaat Roz is a first-hand account of the 2021 takeover of Kabul by the Taliban. Afghan filmmaker and ‘Etilaat Roz’ staff member Abbas Rezaie relentlessly films and questions his passionate colleagues on the editorial team in the days leading up to, during, and after the takeover. What begins as shock at a surreal situation, gradually shifts to realization of an inescapable reality at their doorstep. Tensions rise as his colleagues must balance their families’ safety with their dedication to provide honest reporting, while the Taliban set their targets on the free press. This dramatic account of a group of courageous journalists in their struggle for truth, freedom, and life is poignantly captured by Rezaie’s camera, fully immersing the viewer in this rapidly changing environment. 


Abbas Rezaie


Abbas Rezaie I was born in 1983. A Hazara journalist and documentary filmmakerr, he works as a professional documentary filmmaker and video reporter for the daily Etilaat Roz newspaper. He has recently made documentaries on a deadly school bombing in May 2021 in west of Kabul, Iranian refugees in Kabul and an in-progress documentary about girls who were banned from school and work by the Taliban.