49 minutes / Colour / 1979
Directed by
André Singer Andy Harries

Anthropologist Akbar Ahmed and Louis Dupree

Country of production United Kingdom

Series Disappearing World Series

For more than a century Britain was engaged in war with the Pashtun tribesmen of India's North West frontier. It began with the bloodiest massacre in the history of the British Empire when, in January 1842, some 17,000 British soldiers, women and children died in Gandamark, en route to the Khyber Pass. ‘Khyber’ tells the story of how the British experience in the North West Frontier was part of the Great Game, as Rudyard Kipling called it. It was never a successful game and rarely took cognisance of the wishes of the Pashtun tribes that bore the brunt of the different resulting wars. Looking at the history up to the Soviet invasion in 1979, Khyber features the final interview with Sir Olaf Caroe last governor of the North West Frontier Province before partition, and with Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck, last commander of the British Army in India. The film looks at the different perspectives of the conflicts by both British and Pashtun and provides fascinating parallels to what is happening in Afghanistan today.

Language and subtitles English with English Subtitles

Location(s) depicted North-West Frontier

Region South Asia

Country India

Keywords War / Conflict / Reconciliation Colonialism / Postcolonialism History