At Afghanistan's Badam Bagh Women's Prison, half the inmates are jailed for "moral crimes." Though these would hardly be considered punishable crimes in the Western world, behavior in Afghanistan is strictly controlled by an ideology of honor, and transgression can bring ruin to an entire family. Although both men and women can be arrested for moral crimes, women are seen as particular threats to the fabric of society, and must be punished if they stray off the moral path.
In this 72-minute HBO Documentary Film, we meet several of the women awaiting trial at Badam Bagh, including a 20 - year - old who is pregnant after having pre - marital sex, and seeks to marry her lover; a 23 - year - old who ran away from a violent home; and an 18 - year - old who fell in love with her neighbor, and stands accused of sleeping with him. If convicted, each could face up to 20 years in jail - sentences that could be greatly reduced if both parties agree to marry, which is considered the only morally acceptable outcome. Director Tanaz Eshaghian was granted rare access inside Badam Bagh, where she follows each woman's case to trial, giving a voice to women who are seen by their families, the courts, and Afghan society largely in terms of blame and embarrassment.
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