Jung (War): In the Land of the Mujaheddin | Chicago Reader

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During 1999 and early 2000, Italian TV documentarians Fabrizio Lazzaretti and Alberto Vendemmiati lugged their video cameras through the snowy mountains and barren valleys northeast of Kabul, following an Italian surgeon and a British nurse as they tried to build a hospital for casualties of Afghanistan's 20-year civil war. This 2000 video records frontline skirmishes between the Taliban and the mujahideen soldiers of the Northern Alliance, and though the latter are portrayed as popular heroes (including Ahmed Shah Massoud, assassinated shortly after 9/11), Lazzaretti and Vendemmiati go out of their way to fathom the cruelty and religious fanaticism of the Taliban. The film is devastating in its treatment of the war's innocent victims and the medical team's desperate attempts to aid them; in one particularly heartrending sequence, a badly injured boy asks to be put out of his misery. This is essential viewing, and not just for artistic reasons. In Dari (a dialect of Farsi) with subtitles. 114 min.

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