France, Afghanistan, 29 min
The Dehbori checkpoint, in the centre of Kabul. Fifteen policemen housed in makeshift huts work shifts round the clock to inspect vehicles without number plates entering the city. A singular duty which sometimes gives rise to misunderstandings: one of them tells how he unwittingly stopped the car of a governor… Coming from backward areas of the country, the policemen in Check Point do not have a clear idea of why they are there, why the bread they fetch once a week from the police station is stale, or why there are frequent power cuts. To cope with the boredom, fear of a suicide attack, and absence of women, they sometimes request a popular song on television, danced by women wearing a veil, under the gaze of Commander Massoud, the only icon in their tiny barracks. Hamed Alizadeh minutely chronicles the absurd daily existence of these men, who think they are taking part in the future of Afghanistan, if only in listening to birdsong amid the noise of the traffic, or watching ants crawl around on the waste land where they are stationed.
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