By using very simple means, Orzu Saripov accom­pa­nies Afghan refugees, who are able to escape the hail of bombs in the north of the coun­try in the direc­tion of Tajik­istan and flee to unin­hab­it­ed islands on the Pianj-River. The video camera remains very close and observes with­out com­men­tary the flow and daily-life of an exodus. Sit­ting on a donkey, car­ry­ing sacks, wan­der­ing through the desert, cross­ing dan­ger­ous rivers – every­thing finds its pur­pose. Bullet car­tridges become cig­a­rette hold­ers, car tires become rafts. RUNAWAYS shows an aspect of daily life in war, which CNN and Co. have learned to ignore. 

Behind the Wheel

Tajik­istan is one of the most remit­tance-depen­dent coun­tries in the world. Every year, hun­dreds of thou­sands of migrant work­ers leave Tajik­istan in search of employ­ment. The money sent back pro­vides a huge boost to the econ­o­my. The vast major­i­ty of these migrants are male, which means the Tajik pop­u­la­tion is becom­ing increas­ing­ly female. So what hap­pens to the women who are left behind? BEHIND THE WHEEL explores the moral and emo­tion­al tur­moil of Nigora, an Uzbek woman whose tra­di­tion­al life of being a house­wife is turned upside down after her migrant hus­band fails to send back enough money and she finds out he has been having an affair. No longer able to rely on him, Nigora defies pre­vail­ing gender norms and sets to work fixing car tires. (global voices)