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Afghan Luke (2011)

R | | Drama, War | 11 June 2011 (China)
2:03 | Trailer

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An experienced journalist risks returning to Afghanistan in pursuit of a sensational story.


Mike Clattenburg


Patrick Graham (screen story), Douglas Bell (screen story) | 4 more credits »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Stahl ... Luke Benning
Nicolas Wright ... Tom Holiday
Stephen Lobo ... Mateen
Steve Cochrane Steve Cochrane ... Sgt. Rick Cahoon
Pascale Hutton ... Elita
Vik Sahay ... Imran Sahar
Ali Liebert ... Miss Freedom
Parm Soor ... Ustad Mir
Lewis Black ... Lewis Black
Yuriy Sobeshchakov Yuriy Sobeshchakov ... Russian Pilot
Emmanuel Shirinian Emmanuel Shirinian ... Assad
Pablo Silveira Pablo Silveira ... Hamid
Torrance Coombs ... Davey
Ron Lea ... Mark
Timothy Webber ... Dr. Hinkley


Disheartened when his story about Canadian snipers possibly mutilating corpses in Afghanistan is buried, Luke (Nick Stahl) quits his job but is even more determined to return to Afghanistan to get the real story. With his offbeat buddy, Tom (Nicolas Wright), tagging along, Luke returns to Afghanistan and intends to gather enough evidence to get his old story into print. But he soon finds that the country is an even more dangerous place than when he left. To make matters worse, his old friend and fixer, Mateen (Stephen Lobo) has been hired away by Luke's journalistic nemesis, Imran Sahar (Vik Sahay). Soon the trip for Luke and Tom in Afghanistan turns into a surreal and perilous adventure, a journey into an alternate reality, filtered through a haze of gun smoke. Written by Barrie Dunn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everything is true but the facts


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 June 2011 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Afghan Luke and the Burgundy of Hash See more »


Box Office


CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

It's okay, I guess
15 August 2016 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

In Afghanistan, Canadian journalist Luke, who also occasionally narrates the movie, is dressed like a woman would be under the Taliban. He is accompanied by a group of men, most of whom don't speak English, and Mateen, his "fixer", who translates and tells him what he needs to know.

It is rumored that Americans cut off the fingers of certain people they kill. Luke believes he is seeing this happen but his camera gets shot and there goes the evidence.

Back in Canada, Luke's newspaper won't run the story. But he is determined to go back and get his evidence, without the support of his paper. Actually, the way he behaved toward his editor Mark, he doesn't have a job.

Luke's friend Tom, who looks like a hippie and has a sarcastic attitude, wants to go to Afghanistan too, and he gets his mother to finance the trip. Once back in Afghanistan, Luke claims to be working on a story about the drug industry--Afghanistan is a leading producer of heroin. Tom claims to be working on a documentary for CNN, and the beautiful girl he is interested in, an entertainer named Miss Freedom, believes him. Imran, who already knew Luke, works for The New York Times and he believes he has an edge over the others.

The three journalists get sent with a group which includes Elita, an attractive woman from Latvia, who assists with communications. Mateen joins Luke once again, after some effort. They are going to visit his uncle, who has some knowledge of the situation. Tom poses as a record executive to meet with a big shot in a suit named Assad whose nephew is an aspiring rapper with no talent (to hear an actual rapper, wait for the closing credits). Ustad Mir is a cab driver who picks up some of the group when they get left behind.

Tom and Luke get separated from Imran and the main group and experience the horrors of war and meet some interesting characters, such as the Brooklyn plumber who insists poor sanitation and water quality are killing more people than the war. Mateen, who is mostly comic relief, has a chance to be more than that when he experiences a tragedy.

Is this movie worth seeing? It might be. It helps us to understand what our people are going through in a war that doesn't meet any of the traditional definitions. Mateen gives Luke an important quote which essentially means "There are no enemies. Only future allies." The reverse is also true.

And the people are poor and have to do what it takes to get by. Someone is making billions from the drugs, but not these people, and they resent being told what to do by outsiders.

This isn't a comedy, but for those who prefer comedy, there's just enough to make the movie tolerable. The quirky characters are enjoyable.

It's not exactly family friendly, with numerous instances of the sound going out and a character's mouth blurred, middle fingers blurred (I assume), and the reality of war. For a movie about war, though, this is not that violent. I actually saw the fourth "Rambo" movie the day I saw this, and that was far worse.

It's not a classic, but maybe if you like war, it's something worth seeing.

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