This low-key but high-tension British war film reconstructs events in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2006, when a small group of British soldiers found themselves stranded in a minefield. It’s distinctly anti-melodramatic – no music, little backstory, a fairly banal preamble – but then who needs window-dressing when you’re soon faced with the stark reality of several men with their legs blown off?
‘Kajaki’ (the area where it unfolds) feels as much like a tribute as a drama, and the filmmakers, who shot the film in Jordan this summer, were keen to rush it to screens to coincide with the remembrance commemorations. Beyond offering a sharp series of escalating and fully earned shocks (complete with no-nonsense injury shots), director Paul Katis gives us a sense of the fine line between sanity and madness in such situations. There’s also a totally believable strand of dark gallows humour.