1 (edited by Michael McDermott 12-May-2012 17:27:19)

Topic: A film set in Darra

Most of us used to go to a little town called Darra, outside Peshawar, which was famous for making guns (the picture of "Annie Oakley" in the Capricorn P37 narrative elsewhere on this site was taken there). The last time I went there we drove there and back through fields of opium poppies. I had not seen them during the many times I had gone there before, and - rightly or wrongly - had come to assume that the fields had something to do with funding the Mujahadeen's campaigns against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Anyway, I just found out that an Aussie chap called Benjamin Gilmour, who was just a toddler when we were there, has both made a film and written a book based in Darra. The film is called "Son of a Lion" and the book, "Warrior Poets".

A reviewer mentioned that the name of that musk that the locals used to sell on those trips we took to Sonemarg in Kashmir was called "kasturi". If I ever knew that, I had forgotten it. At Wikpedia's entry for the musk deer, it says that the scent is an aphrodisiac that can bring about $45,000 per kilogram on the black market.

An aphrodisiac. If only I had known that at the time.


Has anyone read the book or seen the movie? There's a review of the movie at http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s2317832.htm
Benjamin Gilmour also has a website at http://benjamingilmour.com/

It looks as if he's in Herat right now. The photos of Herat etc on his photostream bring back some memories; although much must have changed, and almost all for the worst, they could just have well been taken all those years ago.