Paul Salahadin Refsdal

Paul Salahadin Refsdal is a journalist turned documentary filmmaker. After leaving the Norwegian army in 1984, he went to Afghanistan to report on the Mujahedin fighting Soviet occupation. In the following decades Refsdal reported on more than a dozen insurgent groups including the KLA in Kosovo, the Tamil Tigers, the Shining Path of Peru, the Chechen rebels, the Afghan Taliban and the Syrian branch of al-Qaida.

During the making of his first documentary, “Taliban Behind the Masks”(2010), he was kidnapped by a rogue Taliban commander, something that effectively put an end to the filming. In his second documentary, “Dugma – the Button” (2016), Refsdal takes the concept of showing the other side up a notch, resulting in an intimate portrait of a group of al-Qaida suicide bombers waiting for their turn on the list. Here we meet an overweight Saudi fighter with a love for deep fried chicken, and a British convert excited about his marriage to a Syrian woman. The men soon discover that pushing the button is not as easy as they first thought.