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Smile and Wave

Documentary, 2003, 91 min.

Smile and Wave is a cinematographic journey across post-war Afghanistan, where Dutch soldiers on a peace mission are confronted with a surrealist landscape where violence, hatred and fundamentalism still smoulder directly under the surface. Before leaving, the young Dutch soldiers are advised that their job mainly consists of inspiring confidence in the local population: smile & wave is the motto. But in Kabul, the men are confronted with an extremely confusing situation. So sergeant Winus Dorenbos, Alfa group commander, has his doubts about the order to smile and wave: 'We're afraid to act, afraid to take decisions, to stick our necks out. Just remember Srebrenica. Holland is the champion of compromises.' The film reveals the bewildering, sometimes bizarre reality in which these people have to perform their task. Trained to fight, they operate as town guards. They are peacekeepers in a culture clash.





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