Brother

By Daniel Klein | Documentary
An American soldier was saved by his Afghan translator. See the incredible cross-cultural friendship.

Matt Zeller was a soldier in Afghanistan when he was caught in the middle of a battle in 2008. Two Taliban fighters were approaching him, and Matt was in a perilous position as shots rained around him. He thought he was about to die.

But luckily, he was body-checked by Janis Shinwari, an Afghan translator for a U.S. Army. Janis shot the two Taliban fighters about to take down Matt, giving Matt a new lease on life and sparking an incredible cross-cultural friendship.

Emmy-nominated documentarian Daniel Klein, under the auspices of James Beard Award-winning nonfiction film series The Perennial Plate, has put together an incredible true story about what a remarkable friendship can accomplish.

The film is a dual portrait on its surface, about two men who may come from different cultures and possess different temperaments, but shared the experience of fighting side by side in a war together. Matt is from a family with a long tradition of serving in the military; Janis was dismayed at what the Taliban had done to his country, and joined the effort as a translator working with the U.S. military.

It combines both artfully composed shots, rich sound design, emotionally engaging interviews and present-day footage from their everyday lives. The juxtapositions not only capture the two men’s stories with thoughtfulness, but gently interrogates what it means to be a U.S. veteran and ally, and how to show gratitude and repay their great sacrifice.

It also puts an important spotlight on the crucial work that translators do. As citizens of the war-torn countries they’re fighting in, they’re able to provide life-saving cultural context to the soldiers they work with.

But their work puts them in the cross-hairs of conflict — as when the Taliban put a bounty on Janis’s head. What Matt and Janis do in the face of this danger will warm hearts and spirits with generosity and inspiration, ultimately leading to the formation of No One Left Behind, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the allies who served with the U.S. in the Afghan and Iraqi wars.

“Brother” is a beautiful tribute to the bonds formed between soldiers, to what it means to save someone’s life and what that creates between two people. Heartwarming and engaging, it is ultimately a tribute to service — and to understanding how closely we are connected to one another, no matter how far apart we live.

For more information about No One Left Behind, visit http://www.nooneleft.org.




You Might Also Like:

Don’t Be a Hero

By Pete Lee | Drama
A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break.

Our Kind of Love

By Elham Ehsas and Azeem Bhati | Romance
An Afghan village girl goes on her first date in London.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invest his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
Two brothers caught in a time loop must traverse a series of maze-like events in order to prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Small Arms ft. Tyler Young

By Arman Cole | Drama
A bullied college student seeks out shooting lessons with an ex-militia member to prove his manhood.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man finds himself in between a food-truck and a brothel. Then, he meets his dream girl.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A heartbroken woman finds a one-night stand. But the guy lives two hours away... via public transit.

Ten Thousand Days

By Michael Duignan | Comedy
A man is convinced he'll die on his 10,000th day. But when he meets a girl at his cousin's funeral, things don't go to plan.

Pawns

By Tyrees A. Lamptey | Drama
A WW1 soldier is trapped in a trench with the enemy... and it restores their faith in humanity.

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart ft. Vicky Krieps

By Christoph Rainer | Romance
A hopeless romantic takes desperate measures to win her former lover back. But he already has a new girl at his side.

Grape Soda

By Justin Robinson | Drama
A marriage, broken by death, is kept alive by the memories held through grape soda.

Los Angeles 1991

By Zac&Mac | Drama
The streets of Los Angeles have become a hotbed of racial tension and hate about to burst.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.