The highway to northern Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous roads in the world, cutting through territory controlled by the Taliban and Islamic State.
It’s a risky place at the best of times, let alone if you’re a western filmmaker travelling with a member of Afghanistan’s most famous political family.
“Numerous convoys have been attacked on this road and you can sense the tension building, even in our own driver.” - Jamie Doran, film-maker
“The small narrow valley, these very tall mountains, it’s just a perfect place for guerrilla warfare. Insurgents can attack us at any point…they’ll be hiding in the villages, they’ll be hiding in the mountains.” - Zubair Massoud, Strategic Adviser
Zubair Massoud, advisor to the Afghan National Security Council, is increasingly spoken of as a future leader of Afghanistan. That makes him a high value Taliban target. Despite advice from his security team, he makes the perilous journey to Kunduz to see the deteriorating security situation for himself. He takes award-winning filmmaker Jamie Doran with him.
“Snipers’ bullets are just whizzing over our heads at the moment and these guys are now trying to react to that.” - Jamie Doran filmmaker
This often heart stopping film follows their journey as they travel deeper and deeper into enemy territory, their security detail fighting its way through ambushes and firefights.
“They fired an RPG right in front of us, 10 metres from here!” - Zubair Massoud
The dangers faced on this trip highlight the disintegrating situation in Afghanistan and Zubair Massoud warns that the country may be running out of time.
“If we can bring security by the end of this year, I see a bright future in this country. But if not, if we cannot bring security by the end of this year, I see a very dark future.”
CROSSROADS AFGHANISTAN, from filmmaker Jamie Doran for Clover Films, and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 7th November at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 8th November at 10.00am and Wednesday 9th at 11.00pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEDT and ABC iview.