He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in Afghanistan – the longest ever war in which this country has played a part. The film, which has both a feature (78 min) and a broadcast version (52 min), gives an overview of our engagement, and backgrounds some of Afghanistan’s turbulent history before and after the events of 9/11. The documentary asks three simple questions: Why did NZ go into Afghanistan? What did we do there? Why did we hear so little about it?
The documentary takes viewers on the ground in Afghanistan with independent New Zealand journalist Jon Stephenson as he seeks eyewitness accounts of incidents involving New Zealand troops, and interviews soldiers who have served on the front line in Afghanistan. The documentary includes a range of further voices and perspectives, including those of Commander Joint Forces Major General Dave Gawn; Māori soldier Alpha Kennedy; media studies lecturer Donald Matheson and academic; journalists Mike McRoberts, Dr Ali Safi, Nicky Hager; and members of the Afghan community.
“Want to know what it’s like to do his lonely, dangerous and all-too-often vilified job? He Toki Huna is a very good place to start – especially as the camera work of Jake Bryant in Bamiyan Province and Kabul has a brutal, haunting beauty. Concerned about the reality gap between what our soldiers do and what their military and political masters say they do? He Toki Huna is invaluable.”
– Frances Morton, Metro Magazine
Annie Goldson & Kay Ellmers
James Brown & Annie Goldson
Best Editor, Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards
Finalist, Best Doc - Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards
Finalist, Best Director Doc - Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards
Finalist, Best Camera - Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards
Finalist, Best Non-fiction script - SWANZ, NZ Writer’s Guild Awards
New Zealand International Film Festival
Wairoa Maori Film Festival