Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg - or your life.
In September 2006, a 3 man patrol of Paras sets off from their outpost overlooking Kajaki Dam in southern Afghanistan, to engage the Taliban. As they make their way across a dried out river bed one of them steps on a mine left from the Russian intervention some 25 years before. His colleagues rush to his aid only to find they are surrounded by mines and every move threatens serious injury or death.Written by
Andrew de Lotbiniere
Kajaki Damn, the place the cast and the real servicemen were positioned to protect, was important as a fourth turbine was due to be installed and bring power to most of the province, due to the danger of the area, and high enemy activity, this fourth turbine was never assembled, and the parts remain there to this day. See more »
The Chinook seen in the film clearly fake. When in flight the rotor blades are all drooping down, as if static on the ground. Real helicopter rotor systems "cone" upwards in flight. Scenes with the helicopter on the ground also appear to CGI and lack the correct details of a real CH-47. See more »
After the song is heard in the credits, the soundtrack changes to a recording of radio communications of an action in Afghanistan. See more »
Whatever your views on the war in Afghanistan, this film is an absolute must see. It does not seek to glamorise the cause or glorify the British and American forces. It does not say "them bad us good", and conversely it does not say the allies were arrogant pricks, barging in to a country without rhyme or reason. To do so would miss the real point of the film: which is love, love through adversity.
We meet a team of British soldiers holding a position against the Taliban somewhere above the Kajaki dam. However, the presence of the Taliban is merely peripheral and during the course of the film they instead face four very apposite enemies: boredom; incompetence; lack of resources; and a valley full of old Russian land mines. What holds them together through the hardships they endure, both very real and perceived, is love – and lots and lots of banter.
Kajaki does away with the traditional paraphernalia of war films: billowing musical scores, slow-mos, and poignant flashbacks. Quite simply, it doesn't have to, because it isn't one. Instead we are given a film that is clear, crisp and clean; that is relentless, remorseless and uncompromising. The acting is impeccable, the direction and production sublime. It is tense, tragic, uplifting and heart-breaking all at once. Quite simply, it is a love story: love for your country, love for the job, love for your mates. Go see it and be prepared to have your mind blown open by what true love can achieve.
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