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Life After War: Haunted by Helmand
Rehan Pasha

Life After War: Haunted by Helmand

Wed Jan 23, 9-10pm, BBC3

By Oliver Keens

Following the channel’s excellent ‘Our War’ series, BBC3 continues its surprisingly sensation-free treatment of modern soldiering with this hour-long look at the after-effects of engagement. In 2009, five men from the same platoon were killed, and many more injured, by two daisy-chains of IEDs that hit the patrol in quick succession. It was the single worst attack on a foot patrol in Afghanistan since the war began. Like ‘Our War’, this documentary makes use of film shot by the soldiers at the time, but anyone expecting the ‘as-it-happened’ helmet footage that made ‘Our War’ so vivid will be disappointed. Consequences are the focus here, as the platoon’s former officer Alex Horsfall attempts to organise a reunion of his struggling colleagues. Where some have turned to drink, others imagine their high street to be littered with IEDs. All are finding it difficult to move on with their lives, yet this ultimately optimistic portrayal shows just how emotionally nourishing and brotherly the army can be.


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