Monday, February 19, 2007

Heroism in Afghanistan

Every now and then I think about Afghanistan (because I'm not supposed to be paying attention to Iraq) and I despair at the chaos. One of the things I can't put out of my mind is Massoud, l'Afghan, a film about Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud.

It's been a while since I saw it so much of it's foggy to me. I remember it as an odd film, anthropological, political, and worshipful to its subject. There was a set of scenes involving an attack on Kabul. Massoud and his men make their way to some hills overlooking the city with various broken down vehicles, set up a crappy firing rack (like a giant-sized slanted cookie sheet) and set rockets up on it aimed loosely at the city (the rockets would roll around on the rack a little). In a technique I was familiar with from near-constant cartoon-watching, they touched off the rockets by applying fire to their ends.

What I thought at that point was that it was an awful crime and that someone, anyone, filmmaker included, would have been justified in shooting those men where they stood. The rockets flew off in whatever direction destroying whatever was at the end of their arcs for symbolic purposes, as this was the kind of attack that nobody in Kabul would surrender to or could cheer on unless by dumb luck each and every rocket hit Taliban personnel only.

Thus endeth the discussion of the only Afghan hero I'm aware of.

No comments: