Ascending Afghanistan: Women Rising

Young women in Afghanistan becoming leaders through climbing and mountaineering
The night before ascent


Running time

43 minutes

Country / Nationality


A joint venture between Vice and HBO, we learn about the everyday challenges of being a woman in Afghanistan, and some dark chapters in the history of women's rights there. The bulk of the film follows a group of young women as they progress through a programme of training and then an attempt on a high peak in Afghanistan, accompanied by local climbers and a US based guide, Danika Gilbert. It is a challenging and sometimes emotional journey for everyone, as they battle injury, tiredness and personal demons. But the girls' energy is contagious, and inspiring. Each participant wants to summit Mount Noshaq. The more important question is whether the experience can help them live their lives as fully and bravely as possible.