The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more
The Sweetest Embrace: Return to Afghanistan

The Sweetest Embrace: Return to Afghanistan

| 1 h 14 min

This full-length documentary tells the story of 2 Afghans who return to Afghanistan in search of their families after a 16-year exile. Like many Afghan children, Soorgul and Amir were sent to Tajikistan during the Soviet occupation of their country. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the civil wars that broke out on both sides of the border left the children stranded, unable to leave the country until Canada accepted them as refugees.

The Sweetest Embrace tells an intimate story set against one of the world's most harsh and yet beautiful landscapes, in a land where life has been shaped by war and hardship but where spirit remains resilient.

  • writer
    Najeeb Mirza
  • director
    Najeeb Mirza
  • producer
    Bonnie Thompson
    Adam Symansky
    Najeeb Mirza
  • editor
    Joey Calugay
  • consulting editor
    Nick Hector
  • camera
    Jimmy Bustos
    Najeeb Mirza
  • sound
    Jimmy Bustos
    Najeeb Mirza
  • sound editing
    Leopoldo Gutierrez
  • composer
    Farangis Nurulla
  • additional camera
    Rafi Behroozian
    Ebenezer George
    Bill Kerrigan
    Haseeb Mirza
    Patrick Morrow
    Baryalai Dost Muhammad
  • additional sound
    Gary Bruckner
    Rick Hardy
  • key grip
    Allan Belyea
  • assistant editor
    Jimmy Bustos
    Ensor Mirza
  • additional editing
    Brenda Terning
  • narration
    Najeeb Mirza
  • production supervisor
    Steve Hallé
    Mark Power
  • musician
    Abduvali Abdurashid
    Jean-Marc Bouchard
    Julien Grégoire
    Guy Pelletier
    Kiya Tabassyan
    Ziya Tabassyan
  • translator
    Qudsia Hamidi
    Soorgul Roy Sakai
  • archival research
    Elizabeth Klinck
    Nailya Okda
  • sound edit assistant
    Carrie Haber
  • foley
    Lise Wedlock
  • re-recording
    Shelley Craig
  • driver
    Said Omar
    Mohammad Ehsan
    Mohammad Nur Abdul Salom
    Safar Imronshaev
  • cook
    Abdul Karim
  • guard
    Abdul Karim
  • participant
    Amirdad Alamunbek
    Soorgul Roy Sakai
  • online editor
    Julie Monette
    Yannick Carrier
  • colourist
    Julie Monette
    Yannick Carrier
  • graphic design
    Philippe Raymond
  • titles
    Gaspard Gaudreau
  • production coordinator
    Ginette D'Silva
    Susan Lewis
    Faye Yoneda
  • technical coordinator
    Steve Hallé
    Mark Power
  • marketing manager
    Kelly Isaac
  • program administrator
    Darin Clausen
  • executive producer in development
    Graydon McCrea
  • executive producer in production
    Derek Mazur


Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 


Ages 13 to 17

Diversity - Identity
Geography - Physical Geography/Geology
History - World History
Social Studies - Canada in the World Today

Outline history of Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Why were the two men desperate to find their families? Have students explore how their family has contributed to their identity; discuss in relation to culture, language, religion, adoption, residential schools in Canada, colonization, etc. Study geography of Afghanistan – why was the trip so long and difficult? Analyze the political/social climate in Afghanistan today; compare to Canadian life. List Canadian/international agencies which help refugees.

The Sweetest Embrace: Return to Afghanistan
Also available

Embed this code on your site

Video player width

by Reset