Afghan Documentary Learning To Skateboard In A War Zone (If You're A Girl) Won An Oscar

The film shows how girls from Kabul cope with living in a war zone

These days being a girl who skates it’s not unusual, thankfully there are lots of women who made a career in this field. But how usual is that when war is part of your day to day life?

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) is an inspiring short film following four young Afghan girls and their teachers at the Kabul-based Skateistan School House and Skatepark. The film has won the Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 92nd Academy Awards, being one of four Arab movies nominated this year at the awards. 

The documentary focuses on female students, who are learning about courage. The girls are asked to define the word and they say that reading books and going to school is an act of courage in their world.  One girl describes how she sold gum on the streets before she was scouted to join the Skateistan school. Another student says she sold tea.

In a city of car bombings, kidnappings and violence against unprotected women, these girls are already survivors. To see these girls skating and escaping the war for a bit is both inspiring and wrenching.

Skateistan is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 by the Australian skater Oliver Percovich. The organization empowers children through skateboarding and education in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. 

The documentary’s director, Carol Dysinger said while she accepted the award: "This movie is my love letter to the brave girls of that country. They teach girls courage, to raise your hand, to say I am here, I have something to say and I'm going to take that ramp, don't try to stop me."

‘Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You're a Girl)’ also took home the Best Short Film win at the BAFTAs last week. 


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