Saving Mes Aynak

    • Brent Huffman
    • United States
    • 2014
    • 60 min
    filmcollectie_01 Film


    “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.

    Watch on


    • 60 min
    • color
    • DCP
    Screening copy
    Kartemquin Films
    World Sales
    Autlook Filmsales GmbH
    Brent Huffman
    Xiaoli Zhou from German Camera Productions, Brent Huffman from German Camera Productions, Zak Piper from Kartemquin Films
    Brent Huffman
    Created with Sketch. Show all creditsLoading...

    IDFA history

    Share this movie on