Embedded as a war journalist filmmaker Viktor Franke joined the Dutch and US Special Forces for more than two months in the heart of enemy Taliban lines in Uruzgan. In vivid detail the film shows how the special forces operate in enemy territory. At the end they are ambushed, a fierce fight entails that lasted or more than an hour. After a short cease fire they are attacked again; Viktor's camera runs out of batteries, he picks up a gun and fights for his life.
WHAT IS IT THAT DRIVES MENTALLY STABLE, more than average intelligent, super fit and adequate men to eagerly delve into the Heart of Darkness, to chopper into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, accompanied only by existential fear and complete trust in 'the guy next to ya'. That is the bold question to which filmmaker Vik Franke likes to have an answer. A first for an embedded filmmaker.
Uruzgan is the desolate, barren central province in Afghanistan, birth ground of mullah Omar. The Taliban have maximum latitude, drugs traffic is the feeble main economic force and political power is executed along medieval lines. This is the theater in which the 21st century hi-tech special forces operators move around in Chinook helicopters, covered by Apache helicopters, upping against invincible and experienced warriors who have already ousted the Mongols, the English and the Russians.
In the words of Rudyard Kipling: When you are wounded and left; On Afghanistan's plains; And the women come out; To cut up your remains; Just roll on your rifle; And blow out your brains; And go to your God; Like a soldier. In the past 200 years Afghanistan has been occupied many times by foreign forces, but in the end the Afghan 'rebels' have always come out victorious (See 'The Devils Wind'). The Russian occupation and the following civil war have left Afghanistan in rubbles. Although the world has a duty to help rebuild the nation, the question is: will we succeed?
November 20th 2006 "09:11 Zulu" was broadcast on Dutch national television. The press was all over the film & questions were asked in Parliament to the Secretaries of Defence and Foreign Affairs about some strong political statements the soldiers had made in the film. This turbulence was stronger then a month earlier, when Viktor Franke was also all over the newspapers & TV on the incident. By actively participating n the fight, Viktor Franke had violated the neutrality of the press.
Buy the DVD
You can buy the DVD or order the film for broadcast or theatrical release through the following links:
- Vik Franke's homepage
- Autlook Films Sales