Five Scenes from the War in Afghanistan as They Appear in East Sussex

  • Frank Eli Martin
  • United Kingdom
  • 2021
  • 12 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

In a greenhouse in England, a military veteran talks about his experiences as a soldier in Afghanistan. Clement Boland served with the British Army in Helmand Province for more than ten years and has suffered from PTSD since his return. His therapy now consists of gardening. In five insightful scenes, he talks about how the landscapes of East Sussex and Afghanistan keep intertwining because of his repeated reliving of memories of the war. One image he can’t get out of his mind is of an Afghan man who “looked like Jesus.” Clement wasn’t the one who fired the shot, but he feels guilt nonetheless.

He hasn’t properly processed these memories and he frequently has flashbacks in which he feels he’s actually living through past events. Clement got used to the idea that he would soon die while he was in Afghanistan, and he’s now got little faith in the future. Parallel and contrasting locations and times merge into a powerful contemplation of the effect of memory and trauma, framed by the flowers Clement planted himself.


  • 12 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
  • Subtitles in: English
Frank Eli Martin
Frank Eli Martin
Frank Eli Martin
Jack Cotter
Jean-Marc Eck, Marios Themistokleous

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history

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