At the end of 2014, the Afghan national forces took complete security responsibilities of their nation after the end of NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan and withdraw of most of their troops from the war-torn country. And one of the most volatile areas that the Afghan security forces inherited was the southern Helmand province from the British forces, where till this day the Taliban continue their attacks on a daily basis.
According to Berlinale, a film maker spent a year with the these Afghan Security forces in Helmand province and followed them on all their battles against Taliban, documenting the trials of being an Afghan soldier.
Said Taji Farooqi, maker of this documentary film said that despite their dedicated services, the Afghan Security forces are paid pittance and at irregular intervals. He also shared that there are not enough supplies to support the troops and the equipment are of substandard quality. “They cannot fight a war with the equipment left behind by the ISAF,” he said.
Saeed Taji Farooqi’s cinemascope images lend an epic dimension to the soldiers’ daily lives, and their private moments. The bloody battles feel like a metaphor for the fate of this war-torn country.
In off-screen interviews, the protagonists talked about their fears, doubts, their hopes and their dreams. At the same time the films shows the absurdity of the conflict from the point of view of these Afghan soldiers, in a country whose government is at the mercy of an enemy that even NATO troops were not successful in defeating entirely, in the thirteen years they fought in this country.
This documentary film which shows the life of Afghan soldiers in the battle fields of southern Helmand province was screened on February 15, 2015 in the 65th Berlin Film Festival, and was awarded of “the Audience of Panorama” documentary film.
In Panorama awards category, 52 films from 38 countries were screened this year, and among them, 18 were documentary films. ‘Tell Spring Not to Come This Year’ received award from Amnesty International’s independent board of juries at the Berlinale international film festival. This documentary film which will get the award in 2015 is produced with the joint efforts of Sayed Taji Farooqi and Micheal Mic Eve.
Mic Eve says that he has made the film based on the soldier’s perspectives who are fighting in the insecure province of Helmand after the withdrawal of NATO forces. The term “spring” used in the film is understood to be the “war season” a time of year when the Taliban accelerates their attacks and fighting.
The daily open society newspaper quotes the panel members of this festival stating, ‘Tell spring not to come this year’ is a picture of a country where war is more common than peace. With the help of strong and bold camera images and shots, we were able to become part of the Afghan army who are now alone in their fight against insurgency.
Board of juries in a statement said, “This film show how the man facing war are losing hope. But, they continue to do their job because they are poor and most importantly they love their country and want to protect their people. Among the people tired of war and Taliban, these soldiers are stuck in a situation where every person can be a potential threat for them”.
Berlinale film festival is giving away the Amnesty International’s film awards for the 11th year which amounting to 5000 Euro. Last year the documentary ‘Square’ which depicting the 2011 revolution in Egypt that started from Tahrir Square received this award.
Watch the trailer below:
(Report by: Enayatullah Azad)