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The Land of the Enlightened

The Land of the Enlightened

In this seamless blend of fictional and documentary form, we experience a stunning cinematic journey into the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan.

In this seamless blend of fictional and documentary form, we experience a stunning cinematic journey into the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan. Shot over seven years on evocative 16mm footage, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left for the next generation. As American soldiers prepare to leave, we follow De Pue deep into this hidden land where young boys form wild gangs to control trade routes, sell explosives from mines left over from war, and climb rusting tanks as playgrounds-making the new rules of war based on the harsh landscape left to them. De Pue’s transportative and wonderfully crafted film confronts the visceral beauty and roughness of survival, serving as a testament to the spirited innovation of childhood and the extreme resilience of a people and country.

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  • projection time:
    84 min.
  • country/year:
    Belgium / Ireland / Netherlands / Germany / Afghanistan / 2015
  • director:
    Pieter-Jan De Pue
  • pictures:
    Pieter-Jan De Pue
  • awards :
    FF Sundance 2016: World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography, IFF Rotterdam 2015