The movie was made largely in and around the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which is German forces' main base. Asked how it was to direct a movie as a woman in Afghanistan, Aladag replied that she expected it to be more difficult—though "of course, you have a headscarf and you're not running around in a T-shirt; you try to act respectfully." About half the film team were Afghans.
Aladag said she was motivated by a lack of films about modern German troops in combat situations—a relative novelty for post-World War II Germany—and by a feeling that local helpers such as the leading character in her film, an Afghan interpreter who receives threats from insurgents, are getting "unfair" treatment from politicians at home. She argued that the process of considering visa applications from such helpers should be speeded up. Still, the director said she didn't set out to make judgments on the combat deployment in Afghanistan, which is now winding down.
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Ahmady, who left Afghanistan for the first time for the premiere, posed for photographers but didn't face reporters.