Vaughan Smith’s new film ‘Blood and Dust’ broadcasting on Al Jazeera

February 16, 2011

Above is a preview of Vaughan Smith’s dramatic new film BLOOD AND DUST recording life and death with an American helicopter medevac unit in Southern Afghanistan.

‘These Medivac teams, US military air ambulances, are amoungst the only soldiers that go to war to save lives and they are very good at it.’

See BLOOD AND DUST on this week’s PEOPLE&POWER on Al Jazeera English from Wednesday, February 16, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2230; Thursday: 0930; Friday: 0330; Saturday: 1630; Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930. http://bit.ly/eJOYcN

Vaughan’s description of making the film:

I have done a fair number of military embeds in Afghanistan over the last few years but was concerned that I hadn’t filmed the suffering of war, just its machinery.

This being a grevious ommission I went back last winter to film US army air ambulances, ‘Dustoff’ helicopters, flying over Marjah in Southern Afghanistan. The pictures are strong and show both US marines and Afghan civilians being lifted off the battlefield in equal numbers.

I have been pretty busy since returning from this trip last year, what with Julian Assange coming to stay and all that that means. It is very much thanks to the Al Jazeera documentary chaps, John Owen, Diarmuid Jeffreys, Neil Cairns and last but certainly not least because he did the video editing, Ross Birkbeck, that I got it out at all.

I have worked with Al Jazeera on this because I couldn’t find another news broadcaster in Britain that would show the film without cutting out the stronger images. I have huge respect for the way Al Jazeera as a broadcaster engages the world while so many others appear to retreat from it.

More to follow, including a link to the film online for those that miss its broadcast. Vaughan