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

    I want to tell stories that are ignored, find truths that are kept secret, and challenge mainstream narratives in order to surprise audiences and complicate the simplified.

    Saeed Taji Farouky is an award-winning filmmaker focusing on films about human rights and colonialism for over ten years. In 2011, he was awarded a Senior TED Fellowship for his documentary work, and was previously named Artist-In-Residence at the British Museum and Tate Britain. TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS YEAR, his most recent cinematic documentary, premiered at the 2015 Berlinale where it was awarded the Amnesty International Human Rights Film award and the Panorama Audience Choice Award. His childhood in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia sparked his interest in a film about the human scale of the oil industry, the inspiration behind A THOUSAND FIRES.

    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.