Here’s a film I’m looking forward to seeing: Son of a Lion, by Australian filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour. He spent a good chunk of time “embedded” with Pashtun tribes in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Provinces in 2007.
Writing in The Australian a few months back, he gives his take on the U.S and NATO troop increase in Afghanistan and the cross border attacks:
…According to my filmmaking colleagues, who provide me with constant updates, the rapidly growing support for the extremists is a direct result of intensified foreign interference. Locals claim our presence is confounding their own resistance against these radicals.
We are, it appears, our own worst enemy. The thousands of extra US troops due to land at Bagram this year will, predictably, inspire even greater resistance. Across the border, where every young boy once dreamed of joining the Pakistan army, teenagers can’t wait to sign up for suicide missions. Local army operations in the tribal belt to flatten entire villages in collective punishment, cross-border raids by US forces and Hellfire missiles from Predator drones hitting civilian targets are all great terrorist recruitment triggers.
More harrowing is his description of what’s happened to the fellows who worked on his film.
Since completing Son of a Lion in 2007, one of our actors has been shot and killed, another kidnapped, while our production car was destroyed by an explosion in which its owner and his son also died. And yet, after all this, a group of extras from the film has left to join the Taliban.
The DVD of Benjamin’s film isn’t yet commercially available, but you can get a pre-release copy before May 8th by donating $50 to the foundation he’s set up, Frontier Development and Support. Then drop an email to email@example.com to get the DVD.