Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the fall of 1987, cinematographer Lee Shapiro was working with filmmaker James Lindelof on a film about political unrest in Afghanistan when they were caught in the middle of an ambush; both men lost their lives in the attack. Suzanne Bauman and Jim Burroughs were close friends of Shapiro, and they decided to make a film about Afghanistan in order to pay homage to their friend and allow his footage to be seen. Shadow of Afghanistan examines the troubled history of the nation in the 20th century, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower's visit to Afghanistan in 1959 on through the 1974 coup d'état, the Soviet occupation of the country, and the later rise of the Taliban, up to America's invasion following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While documenting the violence that has torn at the nation over the years, Bauman and Burroughs also offer a glimpse of day-to-day life for ordinary Afghan people, visiting military camps, refugee centers, and small communities where folks try to live their lives despite the constant turmoil. Shadow of Afghanistan received its world premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.