Roots in the wind

In 1979, after the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan, millions of Afghans were forced to leave their
homeland to save their lives, and in the meantime, a huge wave of them immigrated to Iran.
Now, after 4 decades of living in Iran, their second and third generations have been born. They have not
seen their motherland and have not had the experience of living there; On the other hand, they are not
accepted as citizens in Iran. This suspension has placed them in a diasporic situation.
During these years, the Iranian government has made many restrictions on their access to facilities and
services. Prohibition and legal restrictions in choosing residence, travel, job, marriage ban with Iranians,
not having the right to have ownership documents and deprivation of a large part of food, health and
education subsidies have formed a set of laws that emphasize on their temporary nature and not
belonging to the geography of Iran.
On the other hand, Afghans are victims of the discriminatory beliefs and behaviors of some parts of the
society as an "inferior other". Racism and deprivation of basic citizenship rights have caused the social
exclusion of this group in the society.
For this reason, they do not fully consider themselves as belonging to Afghanistan or Iran.
In this documentary, we talk about this excluded group and experience "being Afghani" in Iran from their
perspective. Today's diaspora generation has a new perspective and intends to migrate to another land in
search of homeland.

  • Soraya Akhlaqi
  • Soraya Akhlaqi
  • Soraya Akhlaqi
  • Mehran Valizadeh
  • Narges Hazarah
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes 7 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 20, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • The 28th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema
    March 2, 2023
    World Premiere
    Youth jury award winner
  • The Sole Luna Doc Film Festival
    July 5, 2023
    Official selection
  • The Imagineindia Film Festival
    September 1, 2023
    Official selection
  • The Sama International Film Festival
    September 15, 2023
    Official selection
  • The Immigration Film Fest
    United States
    October 1, 2023
    Official selection
  • The Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
    United States
    October 15, 2023
    Official selection
Director Biography - Soraya Akhlaqi

Soraya Akhlaqi
Independent filmmaker and artist
Afghan descent, born (1993) and raised in Iran
Film graduate
So far, I have made some short films, documentaries and created several performance art.
The topics of my works almost has been war, women, human rights and immigration.
I have performed in various international festivals, and I had the honor of being on the jury at the 28th Vesoul International Film Festival.
I also received the Youth Jury Award from the 29th Vesoul International Film Festival for the documentary film "Root in the Wind".
Diaspora life experience has played an important role in the formation of my artistic ideas and I have always tried to make my works a reflection of the voice of those who have been ignored.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I have been an immigrant since I was born in Iran, counted as a low-ranking other, alien, Afghani... I was born in a country where I was always called an outsider. Someone who should return to her homeland one day! But which homeland?! I had no identity and no basic citizenship rights! As a teenager, I was ashamed to even let others know that I was an Afghan, so much that I tried to hide my identity from them. In the minds of Iranians, an Afghani was like a lowbrow, uneducated, laboring and backward person!
Immigration continued in me until today and it seems that the only legacy of my ancestors (who immigrated to Iran) for me, was this tag! I don't know how long this feeling of being an immigrant will continue, maybe it will never end in me...

Several million Afghan immigrants in the situation of diaspora are living in Iran like I was.
In this documentary, some of them talk about the living conditions they all have.