VIFF 2017: Suicide bombers meet the enemy Armed with Faith


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      Some of the most neglected soldiers on the front line of the so-called War on Terror are found in one of its epicentres: Pakistan. This short, well-assembled doc focuses on a bomb-disposal squad—one that’s constantly at work in its own back yard.

      The film is jittery but not hard to watch, since it focuses less on explosions (although they do happen) than on the members of the squad, nonideological fellows with few resources but much devotion to public safety. Their leader, a career army officer with a perpetually worried family, is fully aware that the uneducated and usually quite young rubes who get suckered into suicide bombings can’t get at actual enemies and so take it out on their neighbours. His responses, and that of the lower-ranking men, are ingenious and sympathetic. But what can they really accomplish in a world determined to blow itself up?