Armadillo - Trailer: Combat in Afghanistan | POV/PBS
In 2009, Janus Metz and cameraman Lars Skree accompanied a platoon of Danish soldiers to Armadillo, a combat operations base in southern Afghanistan. For six months, often while under fire, they captured the lives of the young soldiers fighting the Taliban in a hostile and confusing environment, where official rhetoric about helping civilians too often met the unforgiving reality of being a foreign occupier. Winner of the Critics’ Week Grand Prix at Cannes, Armadillo is one of the most dramatic and candid accounts of combat to come out of Afghanistan.
From the Film Description:
Armadillo sticks close to the soldiers, as jarringly captured in repeated scrambles for cover by Metz and Skree under audible fire. The film faithfully renders the soldiers’ point of view but, in true vérité fashion, neither approves nor condemns what happens, allowing the ambiguities and contradictions of the battlefield — and the soldiers’ evolving attitudes — to speak for themselves. What is clear is that the soldiers find a harsher climate and geography than anyone anticipated, and an enemy more determined and skilled than anyone told them to expect.
More critically, relations with local Afghan civilians quickly deteriorate. Giving food scraps to begging children and explaining to wary village elders that they are there to protect them earns the soldiers little good will. Afghans complain about fields, livestock and homes destroyed by the soldiers’ actions and say that it is the ISAF’s presence that is bringing the war upon them. They complain most bitterly about civilian deaths caused by the troops — and not without cause. A mortar spotter, Martin, mistakenly lands a grenade on a little girl. Even the children begin to chant, ‘Go home!’ as the soldiers pass on patrol.
For more please visit POV - Armadillo | PBS.
Watch online from August 31 through September 29, 2011.
Janus Metz, the filmmaker behind the Danish war documentary Armadillo, talks about filming his documentary on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan. He describes the psychological effects of war on the people who experience it firsthand, and addresses the controversial incident which has garnered plenty of attention for the film.