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Movies based on the forgotten stories of Afghanistan GTN News

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The world’s attention is currently focused on the war in Ukraine, but two new documentaries from National Geographic and Netflix offer ‘Afghanistan’s Forgotten Stories’.

Movies based on the forgotten stories of Afghanistan
Movies based on the forgotten stories of Afghanistan
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After America’s sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan last year and the Taliban’s return to power, many stories of the people left behind in this devastated country have been forgotten despite being remarkable. One of the main reasons for this trend is the war in Ukraine. This war is apparently between Russia and Ukraine, but the entire international community is affected by it.

The effects of this war are far-reaching and its scope is also very wide. Many observers describe the war between Russia and Ukraine as the biggest political crisis since World War II, and economists see this war as a change to the “world order” to a large extent. From this point of view, it is not surprising that after the withdrawal of the American and its allies from Afghanistan in 2021, the stories of many victims of the very serious situation in this country are extremely tragic and unforgettable, despite Ukraine. war.were forgotten or neglected due to

Forgotten Stories of Afghanistan

Filmmaker Matthew Heinemann and German Marcel Mittel-Zieffen intend to bring to light and bring to the big screen the stories of people who live in a society devastated by war and aggression for decades, but forgotten.

National Geographic’s “Retrograde” is the story of an Afghan general who tries unsuccessfully to stop the Taliban’s advance in 2021, while Netflix’s “In “Hands” tells the story of the country’s youngest mayor, who is forced to to run away out of fear of being a target of Taliban extremists.

The stories of both films begin a few months before the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Both protagonists are seen trying to build a safer and more equal future for their country, and both films end there, with both protagonists sitting abroad watching the activities of the Taliban in their own country, forced to sit outside and watch the rapid the Taliban are wasting their hard work and erasing all traces of their work.

The story of General Sami Sadat

“We kind of forgot about the story,” says Matthew Hineman, director of Retrograde. When was the last time we talked about the war in Afghanistan, or read an article about it?” Matthew added. “A lot of people are talking about the country we left behind.”

National Geographic’s “Retrograde” is a documentary based on extremely difficult and rare access to US special forces. An opening scene shows US soldiers destroying their equipment and retreating, wasting the extra ammunition their Afghan allies once desperately needed. Following the withdrawal of US troops from the US base in Helmand, Afghan General Sami Sadat took over and assumed responsibility for halting the Taliban advance.

In one scene in the documentary, Sadat sees the situation deteriorating around him and rallies his men to fight and remain committed to their mission. Director Matthew Heinemann recalls the scene: “All the signs were saying, ‘Stop, give up, it’s over,’ and he had this blind belief that maybe, just maybe, if he could get to Lashkar Gah or if they join Helmand, they could defeat the Taliban “. .

Eventually, General Sadat had to flee and the filmmakers turned their cameras to the sad scenes at the Kabul airport. It was a scene of Afghan despair, as Afghans jostled for a place in the last American planes.

According to director Matthew Hyneman, “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever witnessed in my entire career.” He says the human element is missing from public policy and foreign policy discussions about wars. According to Heinemann, “What I’ve tried to do throughout my career is take these big but vague subjects and put a human face on them.”

The story of Zarifa Ghaffari

Zarifa Ghaffari, former mayor of Afghanistan, is the main character of the movie “In Hands”. While speaking to the AFP news agency, he said: “Afghanistan under the Taliban is the only country in the world where women can sell their bodies, their children and anything, but they cannot go to school.” According to Zarifa Ghafari, “Afghanistan is disappearing as a topic of international political meetings”.

Former mayor Zarifa Ghaffari, who survived the assassination, saw her father shot by the Taliban. This was before the Taliban came back to power and then she left Afghanistan. Recalling those events, she says, “I still can’t hold back tears when I talk about that moment.”

“It was something I never wanted to do,” she adds, adding that she was 24 when she was appointed mayor of the city of Maidan, and after that appointment she took care of the girls, who campaigned for education. “I had some personal responsibilities, especially after my father’s murder, to help keep my family safe,” she says.

The producers returned to Afghanistan and filmed Ghafari’s former driver Masoom, now unemployed and living under the Taliban. In the most disturbing scenes, he is seen joining forces with the same militants, who once attacked Ghaffari’s car while the driver was innocently driving Ghaffari’s car. Zarifa Ghaffari said: “Masoom’s story represents the story of all crises in Afghanistan, why people ultimately feel betrayed.”

Although the nature of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine are completely different, both of the aforementioned films present a cautionary tale of what can happen in a troubled region after attention is diverted from the West. Filmmaker and director Matthew Heinemann says this has happened throughout history and will continue to happen in the future, but what can we ultimately learn from this experience?

Zarifa Ghaffari said: “What happened and is happening in Ukraine is what we have been doing for 60 years. The same thing is happening again and again. So we share their sadness.

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