Saturday, 6 June 2015

KAJAKI Film Premiere and Review

I should thank Way to Blue for making this blogpost possible. If I hadn't been invited to the pre-DVD premiere, I don't think Kajaki (2014) would ever have appeared on my radar. That's nothing to do with the quality of the film, of course, but instead due to my own unfamiliarity with the genre.

As a war film based on a true story, there is quite a wide potential audience for Kajaki. However, one might suggest it is something about which I am ignorant. I know nobody who has fought in Afghanistan. I have never been directly affected by its dangers. The tragedies that war brings seem such a world away to me. And yet, Kajaki had the ability to suck me right into a reality that takes very little effort to shock.

Directed by Paul Katis, the film takes place in 2006 around the Kajaki Dam in Afghanistan. The situation the soldiers find themselves in is intensely dangerous, with every footstep threatening to steal life as they fight to manoeuvre around a minefield. 

Due to the intensity of the story, it's easy to forget that it's based on real events. It is a gripping, edge-of-the-seat journey. To then remember that these events were actually experienced arrives as quite a weight. It enhances the emotions, but brings with it a lot of questions about humanity.

There's a great level of comradeship between the soldiers, and with that comes wonderful dialogue, penned by Tom Williams. However, the moments without scripted speech - the moments of silence, the sounds of impossible agony, the painful uncertainty of explosions with every movement - bring out the best of the film. Time seems to take on a new form in Kajaki; it is simultaneously running out and never-ending, the product of a surreal reality. It's packaged together with such harmonious levels of friendship, outrage, and the unexpected to create an unforgettable experience.

Kajaki is an intense and surreal film; it is graphic in some scenes, brutal in others, and always expertly powerful. It isn't afraid of its own rawness. It is blunt, honest, and trustworthy.

Phoebe Katis sings the film's theme, 'All of my Life', which can be listened to here. It's addictive, I'll warn you!

The event itself at the Imperial War Museum was brilliant; such occasions always add a bonus dimension to a film, and I found that the off-screen relationships among the cast were just as enjoyable to watch on the red carpet as it was to observe in Kajaki

Guests at the event included Alan Davies and Lesley Sharp - on a personal note, that was an incredible opportunity for me to be part of and for that I could not be more thankful. At the end of the night, I wanted for nothing!

To find out more about Kajaki, you can visit the official website here or at You can also find Kajaki on Twitter and Facebook. Cast and crew details can be located on IMDb.

The DVD is released on 8th June 2015, and can be found on here. It's an eye-opening film and you won't forget the tears you shed in a hurry.  

Amy x

Event footage and images, Kajaki stills, and film trailer

You can watch video footage from the event in my vlog below:

Event images:
The venue
Guests Lesley Sharp and Alan Davies

Kajaki stills:

Film trailer: