TA Taliban fighter
PR Paull Refsdal
AR Abdul Rahman
00:06 WT We have taken our positions.
00:11 WT This is nice. They are trying to show themselves as tough.
00:18 WT Find yourselves a good position and fight them one by one.
00:26 WT There is a lot of shooting going on.
00:32 WT I can see one of them, shall I open fire?
00:36 WT Shoot those sons of shit, you hear!!
00:39 WT Shoot their brains out!
00:43 WT Use the rocket launcher!!
00:51 WT I will not back down, I am victorious in the battle as well as in the propaganda.
01:08 TE Taliban Behind the Masks.
01:19 VO 25 years ago I went to Afghanistan to reported from the Afghan rebel-movement. That time they were the heros of the West, they were the freedom-fighters.
01:33 VO Today the rebels are the enemies of the West, they are the terrorists. I wanted to go back to see for myself who these people are. Are the Taliban really such fanatics as they are portrayed in the media?
01:55 VO To film the Taliban is both very difficult and very dangerous. This is a mountainous area where al Qaida also is very active.
02:06 VO If I just walked into their area, I would be arrested, suspected of espionage, maybe even executed.
02:15 VO For several weeks I waited in Kabul. Finally one high-ranking commander in East Afghanistan approved my visit. This would be the first time ever that he receives a Western journalist.
02:30 VO I agreed to meet this commander in his mountain hideout. I saw two Taliban fighters hiding behind a rock. Long hair and big beards. No smiles on their faces.
02:46 VO That moment is the point of no return. Then I just have to keep on walking, greet them and trust that they really are not fanatics.
03:03 VO The Taliban, they are fighting tall white men, and I am a tall white man coming with a camera. Because if the Taliban suspect me of being a spy, they will execute me.
03:19 TA He is really scared of us.
03:24 TA The same way we are scared of that bald-head.
03:39 VO Everyone, nearly everyone was masked and they were behaving like unnatural. They were not relaxed at all.
03:50 TA What are you doing?
03:54 TA Pretend the camera is not there, be normal.
04:07 PR I think you are wrong now. You must be. There. More, more, more, more, more.
04:15 PR If you have problems keeping it still, you can hold your breath.
04:20 VO The second day they were starting to relax. They took off their masks. They were joking, talking and acting normal. I was like a fly on the wall.
04:33 TA If I appear in the film, they will ask: Who is this humble guy?
04:38 TA He is filming us to show that these are the bad guys.
04:48 TA What is this?
04:50 DA Take it and buy yourself some chickens.
04:54 OM Shall I stay with you here?
04:55 TA No, no
04:56 TA Anyone who want to stay here?
05:02 DA Can you hear me?
05:04 DA Hello?
05:06 DA Khyber?
05:07 DA When we were atthe frontline.
05:14 DA We almost lost our brains because of all the noise.
05:19 DA You remember the evening they were shooting?
05:23 DA They hit a vehicle and it was totally destroyed.
05:27 WT I will take action anytime you want.
05:33 VO Dawran is the one who approved my visit. He is a high-ranking Taliban commander in East Afghanistan.
05:42 VO Before joining the Taliban, Dawran had a lot of properties. Now he lives in a house built from rocks and clay in the mountains.
05:54 VO He lives there together with his family, a wife and three young children.
06:00 WT Can one or two men come here?
06:04 DA Don't you have the number of Kochwal?
06:06 WT No, the phone is off.
06:15 DA Be just, God appreciate justice.
06:19 DA One of my requests is that. God is with us every hour in our struggle.
06:26 DA During the Russian invasion, someone asked me when the victory will come.
06:33 DA The answer was: If the holy warriors are honest and fight only for the sake of God,
then victory will come soon. If not, it will take more time.
06:47 DA We fight for our freedom, our religion and we fight for our holy land.
We are fighting for these goals. What are their goals?
06:59 DA For which goals they are fighting us?
07:01 DA Are they oppressed?
07:03 DA Have they been treated unfair?
07:05 DA Are they living in a dictatorship?
07:07 DA God is the one who has power. He will destroy them like he destroyed the Pharaoh, and many others during the history of Islam and of the world.
07:16 DA They will face the same destiny.
07:21 DA Let us pray.
07:23 DA Oh God, we will do everything for you.
07:28 DA Give us freedom and destroy the infidels,
07:33 DA Give us unity.
07:43 DA We need weapons on both sides.
07:47 DA When we fire with the heavy weapons, their infantry will not be able to do anything.
07:53 OM If we have one weapon on each side, and both of them fire at once,
07:59 OM our people can move down. That will be a good plan.
08:08 DA Can you hear me, Khyber?
08:13 OM In this place they (the Americans) are under attack from all sides. Sometimes one group attack, sometimes another. In this place they are constantly under attack!
08:26 DA Let us got!
08:37 TA I put it in the wrong way.
08:49 TA Give me a hug.
09:19 DA Tell the children to take cover and take cover yourself!
09:53 VO Down in the valley is a tarmac road used by American forces. From their positions on high ground the Taliban were ambushing the American convoys all the time.
10:04 DA Are you in the second position?
10:06 WT We have arrived.
10:08 DA That's Okay, take care of yourselves.
10:11 DA Let the first vehicle pass and then start the attack.
10:17 DA Paugi?
10:19 DA Paugi, are you ready?
10:20 WT Shall I attack?
10:23 DA Attack, attack, with the help of God!
10:26 WT God, slaughter our enemies. I seek refuge with You against their evil.
10:29 WT God, give victory to the holy warriors.
10:33 WT God is great!
10:55 TA God is great! God is Great!
10:58 DA Tell Nasrat to change their position, except those in the defense.
11:02 WT Shoot those sons of shit, You hear!?
11:08 WT Shoot against the checkpoint, shoot those donkey-cunts!
11:12 WT Use the rocket launcher! Rafiq, shoot with the launcher!!
11:17 DA Hit the checkpoint hard!
11:27 DA You hit the vehicle, you hit it! Long live! Long live!
11:37 DA There is an ambush against an American patrol in Tantil. Eighty holy warriors are participating. They have taken position in eight different places in groups of ten men. They are positioned on both sides. The patrol has been stopped, a vehicle destroyed and the people inside were sent to hell. The fighting continue, as you can see.
12:07 DA When they are wounded, they do like this.
12:10 WT I will not back down, I am victorious in the battle as well as in the propaganda.
12:16 DA Even in war he is acting like this.
12:19 TA God is great!
13:15 DA Do you want to go to uncle? He can take you around in a car. Yes? Yes?
13:23 DA You want to go? What do you want? Do you want to bring presents?
13:33 DA Comer here.
13:45 DA Ask him why he has broken it.
13:48 CH No, I do not want.
14:21 DA Don't remove those.
14:42 TA Let's go.
14:46 TA I want to try one more time.
14:47 VO In Kunar province they have a sport, they compete among each others to throw rocks as far as possible. Dawran is a former volleyball player. Of course he was winning all the time.
15:05 TA Watch out!
15:19 TA You cheated!
DA Why? I did it this way, you can do it as well.
15:26 VO One of Dawran's sub-commanders is called Omar. Dawran is the wise old man, the Gandhi with kalasjnikov.
15:36 DA You are far behind me.
15:38 TA Omar lost.
15:40 VO Omar is the cowboy, the wild card.
15:43 OM Is that you? Are you behind someone?
15:50 WT Where are you?
15:51 OM I am on the path.
15:53 VO Once I overheard Dawran talking with Omar on walkie-talkie, telling him to return from an ambush. Omar replied that first he must shoot one US soldier or being shot himself.
16:28 VO The Taliban I met was much more than a fighting force. I was surprised to meet an armed man with a civilian function.
16:38 VO Abdul Rahman is the regional Taliban judge. He walks around solving land-disputes between families, he convicts thieves and spies. Taliban even seemed concerned about the environment.
16:55 AR The responsibility for the forrest is also mine. If someone cut firewood, he must pay a fine of 500 afghanees.
17:08 AR A man came from this shed, he cut down two trees. Then we went to him.
17:20 AR He had set fire to the wood. We told him that he was forgiven since he had put so much effort trying to hide it.
17:36 TA (song) We have decided to make them cry.
We have put on the belt of holy war.
17:47 TA We belong to God and fear no one.
Everyone of us expect a bright morning.
18:00 TA Mother, give me your blessing and pray for me.
My resolution is to bring down the enemy.
18:11 TA Wherever I find the enemy, I will attack.
All the youngsters are holy warriors, all the mountains are our trenches. (end song)
18:26 DA Omar wants to talk with you.
18:30 OM Yusuf, do you hear me?
18:32 WT How are you, brother? Are you well?
18:34 OM Thank God, everything is fine. What about you?
18:36 WT Everything is fine here, and at your place?
18:44 DA It functions at 95.
18:55 DA This button.
19:04 VO The Americans have put a price on the head of Dawran, apparently 400.000 dollars. Once a traitor tried to assassinate him.
19:15 DA The traitor was dragged out of the car, and one of us hit him with his rifle, but I stopped that. The two men in the rear seat of the car got out and put him into the rear.
19:30 DA When we arrived at the bridge and stopped the car, I told the boys that this was the area. This place has some tall mountains. If you shoot him and throw him down from the mountain.
19:44 DA When he got out of the car, he couldn't walk, he was in a very bad condition. I looked at him and half of my hate disappeared.
19:57 DA When I saw how miserable he was. He walked a few steps. I looked at him again. Third time I looked at him, I felt that he had done me no harm.
20:07 DA I walked towards him and put my hand on his shoulder and told him: Jan Pacha, in the name of God the almighty, that has created both you and me, I forgive you.
20:21 DA He did not believe it. We told him to leave, but he didn't.
20:26 DA I told him that I am a muslim, and I give my word that you can leave.
21:03 DA Can you hear me? Omar? Omar?
21:04 WT Omar?
21:05 DA Jawad and Omar, move to the position number two. Obey the order!
21:09 WT Don't worry!
21:13 DA Both Omars move back, move back!
21:16 VO The ambushes were something of a daily ritual. American convoys drive pass the Taliban area. Sometime they hit a vehicle, sometime they don't.
21:37 DA Now it is on rapid fire, now on single shot.
21:46 DA Rapid fire. This is a good weapon.
21:51 DA One of our friends from the Korengal-valley killed thirty Americans with such a weapon. The Americans even admitted it.
22:00 DA When people went to them, they told the people it is Okay if someone fight us, but do not use that kind of weapon.
23:03 VO Constantly there was US-aircrafts in the sky. There were jets, bomber jets. There were predators ,there were some helicopters. But there were one aircraft that scared them. A transport plane converted into a gunship. When this twas in the air, Dawran was very concerned.
23:31 VO In the middle of the night, I woke up. The gunship was there, it was firing into the area. I just put on my camera and started to record the sound.
23:51 VO A few minutes after, Dawran came. He was hammering at the door. He said, everyone, just l eave your things, just go up into the mountains. You have to hide.
24:07 VO I grabbed my camera and I escaped into the mountain and eventually I found a shed to sleep in.
24:29 VO Next morning I returned to the house of Dawran. I could see that something bad had happened. Dawran told me that last night US special forces raided the house of his second- in-command, a man called Assad. They killed Assad and more than a dozen family members and Taliban fighters.
The following night the house of Dawran will be attacked. He must therefor escape with his f amily deep into the mountains. I must return to Kabul and he will call me after one month.
25:13 VO Before I left, Omar, he handed me his phone number. He said, call me in two weeks. You could go to my area.
25:29 TE Returning to the same area, cameraman Paul (Pål) Refsdal was kidnapped by Omar and held as a hostage for six days. No ransom was paid.
25:44 TE A few weeks later, US planes bombed the home of Commander Dawran.
26:03 TE Dawran survived, but two of his children were killed.