Opening 8 Mar 2018
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a dangerous military mission was implemented in retaliation to the horrific attacks on American soil. The key to the success of the U.S. mission would be to convince General Abdul Rashid Dostrum (Navid Negahban) and his Afghani Northern Alliance to join the U.S. special forces to combat against the Taliban and Al Qaeda for their role in the 9/11 atrocities.
Fortunately a deal was made and a new alliance was formed with the two armies purely out of hatred toward a mutual enemy. The initial issues of mutual distrust and cultural differences made for an uneasy bond. The moment the U.S. Soldiers could not use their state-of-the-art warfare tools and forced to adapt to the Afghani's style of warfare on horseback was their enlightenment, to effective warfare. And, camaraderie. The main challenge was that Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) was the only one in the unit who knew how to ride a horse. On the job training was the path set for the rest of the twelve-man troop.
The events that occurred thereafter are now noted as the ultimate in military heroism. The unlikely collaboration of soldiers from CIA paramilitary officers, U.S. Special Forces, USAF Combat Controllers and General Abdul Rashid Dostrum's Afghanistan Northern Alliance was a mission of unconventional warfare. The horrendous tale is told by Doug Stanton in his non-fiction book Horse Soldiers. He explains why the success of the special forces operation was beyond comprehension that anyone survived.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer collaborates with screenwriters, Ted Tally and Peter Craig as well as, filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig to bring Stanton's historical account to the big screen in 12 Strong. A proud moment in historical storytelling not to be missed.
In honor of the horse soldiers, an 18-foot bronze statue by artist Douwe Blumberg depicts a Green Beret soldier on horseback, and reads in Latin "De Oppresso Liber'" (to liberate from oppressors) was placed at Liberty Park, ground zero, on September 14, 2016. (Karen Pecota)