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Scene from GENERATION KUNDUZ (photo © Martin Gerner)

The story of five young Afghans in Kunduz, a city in the Afghan war and a former stronghold of the Taliban who now fight against US and German soldiers. Between the frontlines, Mirwais, a 10-year-old boy, talks of war and peace like an adult. Nazanin, a local radio reporter, fights for women’s rights while wearing a burka. Hasib, a student and activist for democracy, dreams of free and fair elections. And Ghulam and Khatera are shooting a film in the middle of the armed conflict. A look into the minds of a young generation which lives in fear of insurgent attacks and the consequences of the foreign military’s presence. Daily life suddenly switching to disrupting realities. Nevertheless, all five protagonists dream of a better society, like their counterparts in the Arab world. But will the wishes of these young Afghans be heard?

No authentic picture of the people of Kunduz exists to date. For this reason, the film team met the local population without the protection of the military. Going beyond the usual statements of international aid, the film challenges our own Western perspective. A rare glimpse at the almost unknown reality which is Afghanistan today. Kunduz was the first base for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) outside of Kabul. The resurfacing of armed opposition groups and NATO forces since 2008 has made Kunduz a place of fighting ever since.

Martin Gerner was born in Den Helder/Netherlands and is a filmmaker and journalist. He grew up in Germany and France. During the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, he reported from Asia for the German public broadcaster ARD. After a sabbatical, dedicated to Film and Theater Studies, he went back to Afghanistan in early 2004. Since then he has served as a freelance reporter and correspondent for national German newspapers (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, TAZ, Frankfurter Rundschau), ARD and for Deutsche Welle (German, English and Afghan services). He is also a curator for film festivals and special events dedicated to Afghanistan and Afghan filmmaking. In 2005 he established the first version of the Cologne Afghanistan Film Festival, followed by "Afghanistan from Inside", a special program at the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival 2008. He is also a teacher and lecturer to a new generation of Afghan journalists in Afghanistan, where he has been teaching for different international media NGOs.
Genre Current Affairs, Politics
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2011
Director Martin Gerner
Screenplay Martin Gerner
Cinematography Resa Asarschahab, Ali Husseini, Karim Amin, Martin Gerner
Producer Martin Gerner
Production Company Martin Gerner Filmproduktion/Cologne
Length 80 min
Format HDCAM, color, 16:9
Original Version
 Afghan Persian
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals Monteal World Film Festival 2011, DOK Leipzig 2011 (German Competition), FIPA Biarritz 2012, Augenweide 2012
Awards DEFA Promotion Prize Leipzig 2011, Best Documentary Augenweide 2012
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Filmwerkstatt Kiel

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Martin Gerner Filmproduktion
Neue Maastrichter Str. 14
50672 Cologne/Germany
phone +49-2 21-52 91 10