Laila at the Bridge


Rafael 2 Sat, May 4, 2019 5:30 PM
Film Info
Section:Art of Impact
Running Time:96 min.
Premiere Status:Bay Area
Director:Elizabeth Mirzaei
Gulistan Mirzaei
Producer:Ina Fichman
Cinematographer:Elizabeth Mirzaei
Editor:Andrea Henriquez
Print Source:Taskovski Films
Note Writer:Elliott Breeden


Producing 90% of the world's opium, Afghanistan has the highest rate of addiction in the world. But this does not deter Laila Haidari from battling it. Haidari runs the only private drug treatment center in the country, using the profits from her own restaurant to finance it. When her brother struggled with addiction, Haidari helped him get clean and devoted herself to helping others do the same. Despite constant government opposition, physical violence, and even death threats, Haidari fearlessly persists in her quest. Laila at the Bridge offers an unflinching look at the devastation of addiction, but it is also the portrait of a force of nature, a woman whose resolve and courage continues to save countless lives.

IN PERSON: Director Elizabeth Mirzaei

Additional Information

Gulistan Mirzaei was born in Afghanistan and spent much of his life as a refugee in Iran. He was mentored by award-winning Afghan director Siddiq Barmak (Osama). In 2014, Gulistan was awarded the IDFA Bertha Fund for his first feature documentary, Laila at the Bridge. Elizabeth Mirzaei moved to Kabul in 2007 as a volunteer photography instructor AINA Photojournalism Institute, where she met her future husband, Gulistan Mirzaei. Together they co-directed films for Al Jazeera English, their latest being For Sardar: The Afghan Journalist. Elizabeth was a director and cinematographer on the BBC’s The Killing of Farkhunda, which was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award.