In Helmand province, a unit of British paratroopers become trapped in a minefield, unable to move or offer assistance to those that are injured, and uncertain of how to escape. Paul Katis’ unbearably tense thriller cleverly conveys a horrific and almost absurd scenario of being claustrophobically confined in wide open space.
Tom Williams’ taut script also cleverly develops almost imperceptible tonal shifts, with the story almost resembling a macabre horror-comedy as the soldiers’ gruesome predicament degenerates. Having drawn comparison with films like Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land, Kajaki looks set to be considered one of the defining films of Britain’s Afghanistan’s involvement. The fact that it was produced entirely outside of the UK’s traditional streams of feature film funding only adds to its impressiveness.