Meeting The Taliban

Winner 2008 BANFF World Television Award for Investigative & Current Affairs Programs. Shortlisted for Royal Television Society Award, 2008

Meeting The Taliban

Meeting The Taliban – Dispatches / Channel 4, 2007

Having witnessed the battle for the town of Garmser in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Sean Langan goes to meet The Taliban. In this remarkable film he recounts his initial encounter.

‘The commander, a young energetic man who had once been the Taliban regime’s chief of criminal intelligence in Kabul, ushered me into a room. He told me not to worry, and that I was safe from American bombs in their hands. And then he laughed, and reminded me not to do this too often. “We had a shura [gathering] before you came, and voted on whether to kill you, kidnap you or grant you an interview. Fortunately, we voted to do the interview.” I thanked him, and made a mental note not to try this again.’ As a Taliban Commander observed to Sean Langan: ‘It’s easy to occupy Afghanistan, but it’s difficult to remain here for long. God willing, like the Russians before them, the Americans and British will fail.’ And with that he got to his feet, clicked his fingers and his men got ready to go.

There wasn’t a single recorded incident of a suicide bombing during the jihad against the Soviet Union. But they are now increasingly commonplace in today’s Afghanistan. The War on Terror has radicalised a whole generation of Muslims across the world.



“His (Sean Langan) film is not only extraordinary but also gives a totally different view on the war in Afghanistan to the one you see on the news.” – The Guardian

“Dispatches did an important public service when that wonderful, slightly gonzo television reporter Sean Langan went with nonchalant bravery to watch the long-running war in Afghanistan.” – The Daily Telegraph

“Langan shows the chaos and boredom, pointlessness, fear and exhaustion, as well as the banter and tea breaks.” – The Guardian

“If these brave, fascinating and nerve-wracking films are anything to go by, the stern rhetoric of the war on terrorism masks a distinctly threadbare reality.” – Financial Times

“Journalists often make the job of reporting under life-threatening conditions look rather to easy, but it is to this film’s credit that Sean Langan looks genuinely petrified as he attempts to make contact with the Taliban in Afghanistan.” – The Daily Telegraph


Read Seans’ 2007 GQ article Meeting The Taliban

Meeting The Taliban – Dispatches / Channel 4, 2007