Opening 2 Jun 2016
Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writing credits: Robert Carlock, Kim Barker
Principal actors: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, Christopher Abbott
When her TV network was looking for an on-camera-face in Afghanistan, Kim volunteered, leaving behind her boring job as a cable news writer. She gets to Kabul, totally naive, unprepared and untrained. Fahim, a young local doctor and translator, looks after her. The news room she lands in is just as confusing as the turmoil on the roads. It is crowded, noisy and hectic with frequent power-cuts. Her pretty blond colleague Tanya immediately announces that she wants to sleep with Kim's sexy security guy. Would she mind? She also enlightens her of the worth of women in that part of the world on a scale of 1-10. What would be a 6 in Manhattan is a 10 in this war-torn place. Colonel Hollanek warns her to keep away from his men and only sees her as a distraction. At first Kim feels uncomfortable with the sex-talk and drinking going on around her but soon acclimatizes. Her American boyfriend's Skype-calls become less frequent, leaving her frustrated and alienated. This is Ian's chance, an Irish photographer and womanizer. The two become lovers.
As a journalist Kim is daring, throwing herself into firefights for getting the best footage. Following the story of sabotage in a desert village, she comes face to face with a group of local women. This enables her to gain useful insider information which earns her Colonel Hollanek's respect.
Real friendship seems unrealistic amongst the random group of reporters, security people and adventurers. Despite the war horrors, their competition is ruthless when chasing a news story. Kim eventually realizes that the constant search for the big scoop and facing daily dangers feed her adrenalin level but is of little help to her future prospects.
The film is based on American journalist Kim Barker's experiences published in her book The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan (2011). This explains why the focus is mainly on her person without much in-depth information about the other protagonists. Well-known comedian Tina Fey (as Kim) is the biggest asset and carries large stretches of the film. She is funny but also carries her role very well in the more serious moments. (Birgit Schrumpf)