Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Geeta Gandbhir’s profile of UN peacekeepers in Haiti made its debut at Toronto last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, Mumbai, RiverRun, Bentonville, Minneapolis-St Paul, Atlanta, and NYC’s African Diaspora tests, among other events.
In an effort to assist recovery in Haiti, a group of 160 women are recruited to join a Bangladeshi peacekeeping mission for the United Nations. Obaid Chinoy and Gandbhir follow several of these new recruits as they first contend with questions within their own traditional, and predominantly Muslim, culture, and then on the ground in a foreign land devastated by natural disaster. Leaving husbands, children, and other family members behind for a year, these policewomen arrive poorly prepared for their new status quo, but persevere to fulfill their mission, defying gender stereotypes. Once back home, they contend with the changes their time away has made not only within their families, but within themselves.