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The Land of the Enlightened (15)
Dir. Pieter-Jan De Pue, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Afghanistan, 87 mins, 2016, subtitled.
Shot over five years on evocative 16mm footage, The Land of the Enlightened paints a whimsical yet haunting picture of children working in the lapis lazuli mines of war-torn Afghanistan, through a seamless blend of fiction and documentary.
The Kuchi tribe dig out old Soviet mines and sell the explosives to children working in a lapis lazuli mine. When not dreaming of the time when American troops finally withdraw from their land, another gang of children keeps tight control on the caravans smuggling the blue gemstones through the arid mountains of Pamir.
Experience a stunning cinematic journey into the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan. 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.
- Mon 7 Nov: 7.30pm
- Fri 11 Nov: 2.30pm
- Sat 12 Nov: 6.30pm
Venue: Studio 74, Exeter Phoenix