Opium War (2008 film)

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Opium War
Opium war poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed bySiddiq Barmak
Written bySiddiq Barmak
Produced bySiddiq Barmak
StarringPeter Bussian
Marina Golbahari
Joe Suba
Fawad Samani
Jawanmard Paiz
CinematographyGeorgi Dzalayev
Edited byMichele Hickson
Music byDaler Nazarov
Distributed byFinecut
Release date
October 2008
Running time
90 mins

Opium War (Persian: جنگ تریاک) is a 2008 Afghan black comedy film directed by Golden Globe winner, Siddiq Barmak. The film was shot entirely in Afghanistan and revolves around the experiences of two American soldiers (Peter Bussian and Joe Suba), who crash their helicopter in the Afghan desert and find themselves at the mercy of the natural elements and an eclectic family of Afghan opium farmers.

In order to create a realistic setting of an opium poppy field, Barmak had to obtain permission from the Afghan government to plant the crop[1] because growing opium poppies was declared illegal in Afghanistan in 2002.[2] Several challenges were faced by the filmmakers, with regards to the poppy field, before filming was completed. Most notably, Afghan poppy eradication teams attempted to destroy his film set twice and the lack of rain forced Barmak to drill a well for irrigation as well as to bring in water tankers from as far away as 30 km.[1]

The film was Afghanistan's official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards.[1] Opium War was screened at several international film festivals, including the 2008 edition of Rome Film Festival, where it won the Golden Marc’Aurelio Critics’ Award for Best Film.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Baker, Aryn. Afghanistan's Great Film Hope, Time, February 17, 2009. Accessed April 28, 2010.
  2. ^ North, Andrew. The drugs threat to Afghanistan, BBC News, February 10, 2004. Accessed April 28, 2010.
  3. ^ The International Rome Film Festival Official Awards - 2008, La Fondazione Cinema per Roma. Accessed April 28, 2010.

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