The star of the soldier

The star of the soldier

The star of the soldiers

  Afghanistan was for the director Christophe de Ponfilly such thing as a labor of love and the love of his life. In 1981 he traveled for the first time in the country in the Hindu Kush, in order to document the greatest dangers of Afghan resistance fighters against the Russian occupation forces that had invaded the country in 1979. In the Panjshir Valley, the documentation Une vallée contre un empire was built on the struggle of resistance fighters against the Russians. Three years later, he secretly returned to Afghanistan and turned Les combattants de l’insolence. This was followed by further documentation and reports such as Les Damnés de l’URSS and Soldats perdus, and Massoud, portrait d’un afghan. Even after the withdrawal of Soviet troops, the filmmaker was connected to the land, it made films such as Poussières de guerre – Le chant des armes et le temps des larmes and Kaboul au bout du monde, and again a film about the Mujahedeen Massoud entitled Massoud l’Afghan, who was acclaimed internationally.

In addition to numerous books on Afghanistan, ventured de Ponfilly finally a true story of a former Soviet soldier who is captured by the Mujahideen, and eventually changes sides – but the star of the soldier / L’étoile du soldat is his only feature film to stay. The director has not seen the premiere of his film at the Venice Film Festival in 2006, he took his own life at the age of 55 years to an end.

The star of the soldier / L’étoile du soldat tells the story based on true experiences of the Russian composer Nikolai (Sacha Bourdo), is like many other young men sent to the mid-eighties in the war in Afghanistan, without identifying himself in the slightest with the politics of his country. Come quickly – also under the impression of atrocities against the civilian population – doubts about the meaning of the whole. When Nikolai is captured during an operation by the Mujahideen to let him live it. The encounter with the resistance fighters changed perspective of Nicholas, he gets to know the beauty of the country and its cultural wealth and has become increasingly fascinated by Afghanistan and its indomitable people. When Nikolai is released by the Mujahideen, he sets out on foot along the road to Pakistan, but this trip will be his last …

De Ponfilly succeed in striking photos from the wild and romantic beauty of Afghanistan, which the country in the Hindu Kush show from an unusual site. All the more majestic and sublime works against this background, the story of an approach that says the director in his film. The star of the soldier / L’étoile du soldat is a passionate pamphlet against the futility of war and a plea for how much a change of perspective can change old animosities and break – often moving, sometimes a little pathos, but always moving. ( #)
(Joachim Kurz)

Title: The star of the Soldier Original Title: L’étoile du soldat Country of production: Germany, France, Afghanistan Year of production: 2006 Length: 105 (min) of material: Stardust Film Distribution

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