Nadia Nadim, Afghan footballer, straight to the goal

canal + – Wednesday, October 6 at 9:10 p.m. – documentary

Nadia Nadim is only 33 years old, but her life has long been a novel. It is therefore no coincidence that his extraordinary journey leads to this successful documentary.

Director of Wonder boy in 2019, dedicated to the fashion designer Olivier Rousteing who went in search of his biological parents, Anissa Bonnefond this time looks at the fate of an Afghan refugee who became a star of women’s football. She followed Nadia Nadim for more than a year, between 2020 and June 2021.

Fleeing Afghanistan at the age of 12 with her mother Hamida, a strong woman very present in the documentary, and her four sisters, after the assassination by the Taliban of their father, general of the Afghan army, Nadia recounts in detail their incredible arrival in Denmark, when she thought she had landed in England.

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Learning the language, making friends, talking to relatives back in Kabul, nothing is easy for the six women, but Nadia is building her new life with unusual strength. In a country where women’s football is very popular, her talent with the ball does not go unnoticed for long.

A phenomenon

Having become a high-level professional footballer, she will play in England (Manchester City) then in Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG), the team with which she will win the title of champion of France in 2020, putting an end to fourteen consecutive years of hegemony. from Lyon.

Activist committed to Unesco, Médecins sans frontières and the NGO From Street to School to promote girls’ education, polyglot, Nadia Nassim has become a phenomenon. Now settled in the United States where she ends her sports career at Racing Louisville (Kentucky), she is on the way to realizing her dream: to finish her medical studies to become a restorative surgeon. A hard worker, she is now ready to draw the line from her brilliant football career to devote herself entirely to medicine.

Throughout this documentary with neat images, the young woman literally lights up the screen. “Among the migrants and refugees, who are sometimes welcomed in a somewhat dubious way, there are plenty of Nadia! “, affirms Anissa Bonnefond who realizes, more than the portrait of a new star, that of a young woman in search of her past. And his future.

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Shot between 2020 and 2021, this film shows a refugee on a mission. The young woman absolutely wants to return to Kabul, more than twenty years after her flight. To find his father’s medals there, buried in the family garden, to see relatives again, to make the link with his childhood. “I want to come back to Afghanistan to close a chapter”, she sums up. But faced with the dangers, the warnings of her mother and her aunt (who stayed there), she finally agreed to postpone this high-risk trip.

Between family scenes in the Danish snows, glory days on the football fields, laughter with relatives, we let ourselves be carried away by the energy of Nadia Nassim, the girl who scores goals before, soon, repairing the living. Will she ever return to Kabul? Without a doubt. ” I am everything the Taliban hate in women: I am educated, I wear what I want, I play sports ”, she sums up. To the point.

“Nadia, from shadow to light”, documentary Anissa Bonnefond (France, 2021, 85 min). Canal +

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