Americans watching television heard about Afghans — the “Northern Alliance,” “United Front,” etc., etc. — fighting the Taliban, as the our country turned its focus on Osama Bin Laden and his hiding place in Afghanistan. What was that all about; who are these people?
What American’s didn’t know at the time was that there were U.S. troops on the ground and that the fight was already being taken to those who backed Bin Laden and the attack on the World Trade Center. The center of this first action was a place called Mazar-i-Sharif in the north of Afghanistan … population of about a half-million people.
The action that took place there finally came to light in 2009 when author Doug Stanton released his tell-all combat book, “Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan.”
Director Nicolai Fuglsig, with the help of screenwriters Ted Tally (Oscar-winner for The Silence of the Lambs) and Peter Craig (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, The Town), adapted Stanton’s book for the screen as 12 Strong.
Which brings us to the announcement this past week from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that 12 Strong will be making its way home on May 1 as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings. The ARR is 102 days and box office receipts currently stand at $45.2 million.
With the help of the Northern Alliance, a dozen U.S. Army Special Forces were inserted into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack to pursue and engage the Taliban. The mission was hastily put together, so the team had little in the way of support or transportation … the transportation part was solved when they became mounted cavalry and engaged the Taliban head-on on horseback!
Their main mission, the capture of Mazar-i-Sharif, took place in November of 2011 and the city fell, but internecine fighting between Northern Alliance factions suddenly left the Army Special Forces trapped and outnumbered 40 to one. 12 Strong is the edge-of-your-seat story of how they rallied to hold off the Taliban fighters until help finally arrived. All true, American horse soldiers in Afghanistan … and now unclassified for all to see and have and understanding of their story.
Bonus features include a pair of featurettes — “12 Strong: The Making of an Impossible Mission” and “Monumental Effort: Building America’s Response Monument.”