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Published on Aug 5, 2008
An anti-war documentary film In 1972 Eric Siegel, an early pioneer of video art, set out on an extreme adventure driving overland from Europe six thousand miles to India. He was one of the first people to use the revolutionary new technology from Sony Corporation, the Porta-Pak. This was the first small portable video camera/recorder combo that was the predecessor of today's camcorders. Together with his friend Anthony they documented the trip. For thirty years this footage remained in storage until the calamity of 9-11 hit. The filmmaker realized that the old footage had now become very relevant in this changed world. It was shortly afterward that he commenced work on it.
This video is the portion of the trip that took them through Afghanistan, one of the most exotic places along the way. Since the tragedy of 9-11, that little far off country has gone from obscurity to headline news.
Afghanistan has had a tumultuous history, for 200 years Imperial England and Russia have been fighting over control of it. Historians have referred to this period as "The Great Game".
Seven years after this video was made the game continued when Russia invaded Afghanistan. This was the beginning of 20 years of civil war, destruction, and famine. On October 6th 2001 a new chapter in the violent history of this poor country occurred when the United States began its military campaign against the Taliban government. This video shows: Afghanistan before the wars, and examines the forces that were at work to destroy it.