POW Film Festival is pleased to co-present with Women Sports Festival this feature documentary about freedom and identity.
At the age of 4, Maria Toorpakai’s parents discover her yearning to play outside with her brothers, so they allow her to dress as boy and name her “Genghis Khan,” permitting Maria to be free in a the Waziristan region of Pakistan where girls’ are kept indoors. Under this guise, with cropped hair and shorts, she discovers squash at the age of 13. With a passion to excel, she hones her skills daily and soon becomes a rising squash star. However, as she gains notoriety at the international level, she is forced to reveal her true identity. No longer able to conceal her gender, she faces the double disgrace and shame of a girl exposing herself not only in her community but throughout the country. This brings the Taliban to her doorstep and a barrage of death threats against her and her family.