When operations get hairy, adrenaline addiction and cynicism set in for the young soldiers at the front line in Afghanistan. This contributes to a widening of the gap between themselves and the Afghan civilians. Armadillo is a journey into the minds of the soldiers and their experiences of modern warfare.
Armadillo is the story about two young soldiers, Mads and Daniel, who lose their innocence in the war in Afghanistan. Adventurous and open-minded they leave their home country on their first tour of duty. But the adventure is not at all, what they expected. After seven months they return to their home country, disillusioned about the mission, they have been on.
The film is a journey into the young soldiers’ minds and an examination of what it means to be at war. The young men develop anxiety and paranoia, but also a dependence of the adrenaline, kicking in, when in combat. During their stay they lose their sense of empathy and feeling of fellowship with the Afghans, they were sent out to help in the first place. The locals they meet all turns into potential enemies. And as politics and idealism becomes abstract sizes to them, we as audience understand how Mads, Daniel and their friends – bit by bit – are brutalised by their violent experiences and the heavy pressure they act under.
For the first time ever the film crew behind Armadillo has gained full access to follow a division of Danish soldiers at war. This has resulted in unique material, giving the director the opportunity to examine the myth of man at war and to explore the barbarism and socialisation, taking place among soldiers at war.
Camp Armadillo is located in the remnants of an old Afghan farmhouse – now “Forward Operation Base Armadillo”. Together with another 120 Danish and British soldiers, Mads, Daniel and their group are guarding the last outpost against the Taleban in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
Armadillo is a visually and emotionally profound portrayal of war, set in the contemporary scene of Afghanistan – and a film rightfully questioning if it is possible to make peace through war.
Armadillo is directed by Janus Metz, who has won numerous awards for his documentary films from Ticket to Paradise and Love on Delivery – also films about people who go on journeys that will change their lives forever.
Winner Semaine de la Critique Cannes Film Festival
Winner Grierson Award for best documentary British Film Festival
Official Selection IDFA
Official Selection Milano Film Festival