Afghan Luke


(out of 5)

On one of his myriad trips to cover the conflict in Afghanistan, a Canadian journalist () witnesses a soldier mutilating his victims, then comes home and exposes the situation in an article only to have it buried by his gutless editor. Determined to prove it all true, Stahl returns to the Middle East with his friend and colleague, promising him a big hashish score if he will privately fund the journey. The two of them set out down a rabbit hole of politics and culture as they get deeper into the deserts of the country’s harsh terrain and closer to the culprit they are looking for. This enjoyable war drama has a great sense of character but suffers from an unevenness of tone; it can never fully decide what line it is riding between satire and serious, with characters that reek of caricature, while situations veer between gritty drama and full-blown comedy. The tepid ending that goes for ominous comes off as incomplete, and yet strangely enough these criticisms do not prevent the film from being well worth seeing. Stahl pulls off his performance admirably, while supporting characters like ‘s sergeant are hopelessly plastic, but the film has smart dialogue and a great sense of adventure that, while they don’t overcome its flaws, keep it from being an experience you’ll regret.

Afghan Luke Productions

Canada, 2011

Directed by

Screen story by , , Screenplay by Patrick Graham, Douglas Bell, , Mike Clattenburg

Cinematography by

Produced by Mike Clattenburg, Barrie Dunn,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Toronto International Film Festival 2011


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