AFGHANISTAN, LAND OF WONDERS (Афганистан, страначудес)
Repainting the human dimension against the backdrop of a shared history of conquest, war and animosity
Let’s talk about people instead of war. That is the basic philosophy behind Chronoscoop’s Russia-Afghanistan project. For a moment, let’s not think about Russian tanks rolling across the rough Afghan terrain in the 1980s. Forget about fierce Mujahideen fighting an insurgency war against the Soviet Union’s occupation army. Let’s move away from the political and ideological context of this last Cold War conflict and the consequences it held for the current war in Afghanistan and the rise of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Instead, why not focus on the people involved and look at the past and present relationships between Russians and Afghans?
Russians have worked and lived for years alongside Afghans, supporting, training and fighting together. What was the relationship between these peoples in all those years? What lies behind the popular picture of the dominant Soviet army invading Afghanistan in 1979 and ultimately withdrawing troops in 1989? What were the relationships like between the Russians and Afghans involved at different levels?
Of course we cannot ignore the war and the huge impact it had on both a generation of young Russian soldiers and (even more) on the Afghan population and society at large. Nevertheless, the Russia-Afghanistan project aims at peeling the ideological, political and strategic-military layers that have predominantly characterized the relationship between Afghanistan and Russia over the past decades. The overarching objective is to unveil the underlying interpersonal relationships by focusing on people, their interaction, distinct cultures, traditions and societies.
"Afghanistan Land of Wonders" was selected to participate at the Edindocs documentary Film Festival of 2010
"Afghanistan Land of Wonders" was shown at several presentations in the Netherlands as well as in St. Petersburg Russia. The Frontline club organised a special screening at the Green Lamp.
The formar dutch TV channel Geschiedenis24 broadcasted the documentary. Parts of the documentary where used as part of a news item of the former TV news program NOVA-TV