International Competition

Tell Spring Not To Come This Year

Saeed Taji Farouky
Screening time  
22.02. / Monday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 4  
26.02. / Friday, 14:00 - 16:00 Theatre 5  
27.02. / Saturday, 20:00 - 22:00 Theatre 5  
The films shows the absurdity of the conflict from the point of view of Afghan soldiers.

When NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan the Afghan National Army (ANA) took control of the Helmand Province, an extremely dangerous region where attacks by Taliban fighters are the order of the day. Security, much less peace, would seem to be unattainable; it is even difficult to find a common language in a country where everyone mistrusts each other. The director of this film accompanied an ANA company during a year of frontline duty in Helmand. The soldiers are paid irregularly, there are not enough supplies and their equipment is substandard. They cannot fight a war with the equipment left behind by the ISAF. Saeed Taji Farouky’s cinemascope images lend an epic dimension to the soldiers’ daily lives, and the private moments and bloody battles feel like a metaphor for the fate of this war-torn country. In off-screen interviews, the protagonists talk about their doubts, their hopes and their dreams. At the same time the films shows the absurdity of the conflict from the point of view of these Afghan soldiers, in a country whose government is at the mercy of an enemy that even the NATO troops did not succeed in defeating in almost thirteen years.


Saeed Taji Farouky

Saeed Taji Farouky is a Palestinian-British filmmaker who has been producing work around themes of conflict, human rights and colonialism since 2004. His previous documentary, Tell Spring Not to Come This Year (ZagrebDox 2016, special mention), premiered at the Berlinale 2015 where it won the Panorama Audience Award and the Amnesty Human Rights Award. His films focus on exile and the lingering trauma of conflict. He tells intimate, personal stories with an emphasis on humanism, and its mirror image: surrealism. Saeed participated in the Edinburgh International Film Festival talent lab and the Torino Script Lab with his first fiction feature project.

General sponsor

Tell Spring Not To Come This Year

Great Britain
2015, 84'

Directed by:
Saeed Taji Farouky

Saeed Taji Farouky

Edited by:
Gareth Keogh

Joe Lewis

Saeed Taji Farouky, Michael McEvoy, Elizabeth C. Jones

Produced by:
Tourist with a Typewriter, Ponda Films, NHK Cosmomedia Europe

Festivals & Awards:

Berlin International Film Festival 2015 – Amnesty International Human Rights Film Award, Audience Choice Award, Documenta Madrid 2015 – Grand Jury Prize, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015, Bildrausch Filmfestival Basel 2015, DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2015, Full Frame Documentary Festival 2015