Written by Tim Fernholz
February 15, 2016
In terms of courage, it takes a lot more courage to be her as a Muslim-American woman surrounded by a bunch of infantrymen in Afghanistan, than to storm up a hill in combat.More than one Academy Award-winner has been accused of demonizing Muslims, but “Day One,” the Oscar-nominated short film set against the US war in Afghanistan, makes a Muslim-American woman its hero.
Writer and director Henry Hughes served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade (paywall) for five years, including two deployments in Afghanistan. His friendship with his Afghan-American interpreter, Ayman Aziz, inspired this film, which can be seen in theaters or on-demand. Hughes spoke with Quartz about his experiences in Afghanistan, the films inspired by America’s 21st-century conflicts, and Bowe Bergdahl. The interview has been condensed and edited.
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