Against a backdrop of war and poverty, Out of the Ashes traces the extraordinary journey of a team of young Afghan men as they chase a seemingly impossible dream – shedding new light on a nation beyond burqas, bombs, drugs and devastation.
This feature-length documentary follows the Afghan cricket team in their quest against the odds to qualify for the World Cup. Backed by BBC Storyville and executive produced by Oscar-winning director and cricket enthusiast, Sam Mendes, ‘Out of the Ashes’ follows the squad over two years as they go from playing in their shalwar-kameezes on rubble pitches to batting their way around the globe and up the international league tables.
At a time when headlines from Afghanistan are dominated by news of death and corruption, the film reveals a more human side to this beleaguered country which has endured three decades of war and occupation. The film travels from refugee camps in Pakistan – where many of the players learned the game as boys – to practice sessions in Kabul and on to qualifying tournaments overseas. Finally, they reach the World Cup qualifier in South Africa where they face their greatest test.
With unrestricted behind-the-scenes access at international matches, the film follows the ups and downs of their epic journey. We track the team as they travel the globe – eating fish and chips in Jersey, watching tango dancers in Argentina and swimming in the sea for the first time off the coast of Tanzania. Witty, touching and nail-biting to the end, Out of the Ashes is a compelling story of triumph over adversity. –Verve Pictures