U.S. foreign policy can seem like an exercise in forgetting: fighting and losing wars and then leaving the battlefield behind (Vietnam, El Salvador, Iraq…). Ibrahim Nash’at’s courageous film serves as an act of collective memory—a painfully intimate portrait of post-war Afghanistan, a country Americans spent two decades invading and occupying before suddenly departing. With unparalleled access to the victorious Taliban regime, Nash’at, an Egyptian documentarian, silently looks over the shoulders of a government minister and an Air Force officer as they prepare for a new era of power. They inspect the riches the Americans have left behind: billions of dollars in weapons, refrigerators packed with liquor, and pallets of vital medicine that, through incompetence and hubris, the Taliban let expire. At the end of this vivid, humane, and surprising portrait of a society in transition, you’ll ask yourself the question that’s at the core of Nash’at’s inquiry: What was it all for?
Screens with David McBride: Declassified by Paul Matereke before each screening of Hollywoodgate
“The spoils of war are a chore in this fascinating fly-on-the-wall study of the Taliban’s first year in power.”- Guardian
Co-presented with Persian Film Festival