Tell Spring Not to Come This Year
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    Tell Spring Not to Come This Year

    Directed by

    United Kingdom, Afghanistan


    84 min

    • Dari


    When NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan the Afghan National Army (ANA) took over control of Helmand Province, an extremely dangerous region where attacks by Taliban fighters are the order of the day. Security, much less peace, would seem to be unattainable; it is even difficult to find a common language in a country where everyone mistrusts each other. The directors of this film accompanied an ANA company during a year of frontline duty in Helmand. The soldiers are paid irregularly, there are not enough supplies and their equipment is substandard. They cannot fight a war with the equipment left behind by the ISAF. Saeed Taji Farouky’s cinemascope images lend an epic dimension to the soldiers’ daily lives, and the private moments and bloody battles feel like a metaphor for the fate of this war-torn country. In off-screen interviews, the protagonists talk about their doubts, their hopes and their dreams. At the same time the films shows the absurdity of the conflict from the point of view of these Afghan soldiers, in a country whose government is at the mercy of an enemy that even NATO troops did not succeed in defeating in almost thirteen years.


    • Amnesty International Human Rights Film Award, Panorama Audience Choice Award - Berlin IFF
    • Grand Jury Prize - DocumentaMadrid
    • Best Film, Sabeen Mahmud Award for Courage in Filmmaking - MISAFF


    Saeed Taji Farouky
    Gareth Keogh
    Joe Lewis


    Tell Spring Not to Come This Year has urgency and power.

    Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

    Don't miss.

    James Mottram, The List

    They have gone where few directors dare to venture.

    Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

    Saeed Taji Farouky

    Saeed Taji Farouky

    United Kingdom

    Cinema can be a powerful weapon; a tool to confront occupation and war. But it can also be a beautiful, fragile way to share our dreams of a new way of seeing and building the world. That's my hope. That's what inspires me to keep making films.

    Saeed Taji Farouky is a Palestinian-British filmmaker who has been producing work around themes of conflict, human rights and colonialism since 2004. His previous documentary, TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS YEAR (2015), premiered at the Berlinale where it won the Panorama Audience Award and the Amnesty Human Rights Award. His films focus on exile and the lingering trauma of conflict. He tells intimate, personal stories with an emphasis on humanism, and its mirror image: surrealism. Saeed participated in the Edinburgh IFF talent lab and the Torino Script Lab with his first fiction feature project. His latest film is A THOUSAND FIRES (2021) selected at Semain de la Critique, Locarno FF and IDFA.

    Selected Filmography

    Michael McEvoy

    Michael McEvoy

    United Kingdom

    Michael McEvoy is an independent documentary filmmaker and photographer. During nine months he served with the British Army in Afghanistan and Libya where he was employed as a Dari and Pashto-speaking liaison officer with the British armed forces in the Afghan National Army. His time there allowed him to gain a deeper insight into the difficult daily lives of soldiers. He has worked for various human rights organisations in the Middle East and South Asia. His film TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS YEAR followed the lives of a Company of Afghan Army soldiers fighting in Helmand against a resurgent Taliban after the withdrawal of British forces. He currently lives in Kunduz, Afghanistan where he works for a humanitarian NGO.