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Between Worlds

The first German feature film about the war in Afghanistan, BETWEEN WORLDS attempts a portrayal of the conflict’s complexity via two main characters, a German officer and an Afghan translator who risks his life by cooperating with the ISAF forces.


For 13 years now the German Armed Forces has been stationed in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF mission. This is the German army’s first official participation in a war since WWII. Yet German film has been relatively quiet on this topic of a German deployment in Afghanistan, though a handful of TV productions dedicated space to this issue such as Tatort’s “Home front” (2011, Dir: Jochen Alexander Freydank), the made-for-TV movie “A Hero’s Welcome” (2008, Dir: Brigitte Bertele) or “Overseas Deployment” (2012, R: Till Endemann) albeit from the perspective of the traumatised soldier. The latest film by Feo Aladag (When We Leave) not only addresses the current situation in Afghanistan, but was also filmed on site with Afghani actors. A German captain (Ronald Zehrfeld) and his unit are assigned the task of helping Afghani militiamen defend a village against the Taliban. The officer has to deal with language difficulties, blazing heat, and directives from above that are difficult to carry out. At his side is his translator Tarik (Moshin Ahmady) who risks his life by working with the German forces and tries again and again in vain to get a German visa. Tarik is the film’s most interesting figure and indeed the film’s main protagonist. He is the one who finds himself between two worlds, and is able to neutralize many situations with his thoughtful and sometimes intentionally incorrect translations. When Tarik’s family is threatened, Jesper is forced to make a decision between his conscience and his orders. In BETWEEN WORLDS the military and civilian perspectives change frequently and deliver the impression of a complex and volatile conflict, one in which all Afghanis find themselves. It is a world in which a small mistake in communication or an error of judgement can mean catastrophe.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Carla McDougall


Original title: Zwischen Welten
D 2014, 98 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Feo Aladag
Author: Feo Aladag
Distributor: MAJESTIC
Cast: Ronald Zehrfeld, Mohamad Mohsen, Saida Barmaki
Release: 27.03.2014




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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