Saving Mes Aynak

  • Brent Huffman
  • United States
  • 2014
  • 60 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
“Like a mother watching her child dying right in front of her.” This is how archeologist Qadir Temori describes his feelings about the excavations that are threatened with destruction, all because a Chinese company will mine for copper directly on the archeological site Mes Aynak in Afghanistan. Temori is here with an international team of experts and volunteers, braving the threat of terrorism to dig up stunning ancient treasures. According to him, they are comparable in scale to a discovery such as Pompeii. It’s a race against the clock, because the mining company has given the archeologists a limited timeframe to excavate the 2,000-year-old Buddhist structures and relics. As in the case of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban around the turn of the millennium, valuable archeological objects are in jeopardy once again, although for different reasons this time. “Our history and heritage will vanish along with the money,” Temori sighs, indicating that the country will see little of the huge sums paid by the Chinese company to Afghan government officials for the mining rights. But there is hope: a protest has been registered with UNESCO and the Chinese company has put its copper mining activities on hold, at least for the time being. Saving Mes Aynak shows the dedication of the archeologists and the vulnerability of their discoveries, captured here in all their delicate splendor.

Credits

  • 60 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Afghan
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Brent Huffman
Production
Xiaoli Zhou for German Camera Productions, Brent Huffman for German Camera Productions, Zak Piper for Kartemquin Films
Cinematography
Brent Huffman
Editing
Brent Huffman
World Sales
Autlook Filmsales

IDFA history

2014
World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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