JIRGA – interview with Benjamin Gilmour and Sam Smith

by GREG KING Jirga is a new Australian drama that was filmed in Pakistan by filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour. It stars Stan Smith in his feature film debut as former Australian soldier, Mike Wheeler, who returns to Afghanistan after several years, seeking redemption from the family of a civilian man he killed during the war. Greg chatted with the writer/director Benjamin Gilmour and star Sam Smith about the origins of the film, shooting in Pakistan, the challenges they faced, especially when the original financing fell through following death Continue reading

12 STRONG

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Nicolai Fuglsig Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Navid Negahban, Numan Acar, Trevante Rhodes, William Fichtner, Rob Riggle, Austin Stowell, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, Austin Hebert, Ben O'Toole, Kenneth Miller, Kenny Sheard, Jack Kesy, Elsa Pataky, Arshia Mandavi. A very different dirty dozen for the war on terror? In the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks on the US, a small force of twelve Green Berets (all volunteers) were dropped into Afghanistan in a Continue reading

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT

Reviewed by GREG KING Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa Stars: Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, Christopher Abbott, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, Nicholas Braun, Stephen Peacocke, Josh Charles, Thomas Kretschman. Based on the 2011 book The Taliban Shuffle, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot looks at journalists in a war zone in Afghanistan. War is a serious matter, but there have been many comedies that have managed to wring laughs out of combat, especially black comedies like Catch 22, M*A*S*H, and even Good Morning Vietnam. Although not in the same league as Continue reading

LOVE MARRIAGE IN KABUL – interview with director Amin Palangi

by GREG KING Mahboba Rawi is a strong-willed Afghan-Australian woman who has dedicated her life to help orphans in Afghanistan. She is the founder of Mahboba’s Promise and a mother figure for thousands of orphans and widows currently supported by her programs. Abdul, one of these orphans, is in love with Fatemeh, the girl next door. The two have been exchanging romantic letters for almost a year and hope to marry each other one day. But Fatemeh’s father has other plans – he has decided to marry her off to anyone who can offer a large sum of money as her dowry. Continue reading

LONE SURVIVOR

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Peter Berg Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana. Based on the bestselling memoir written by veteran SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor is the harrowing true story of Operation Red Wings, a failed top secret mission that took place in Afghanistan in 2005. Luttrell (played here by Mark Wahlberg) led an elite squad of SEALs behind enemy lines to capture of kill a Taliban commander. But before the mission really begins, the four soldiers encounter a group of shepherds in the rugged forest near the Continue reading