Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
Visiting filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour‘s audacious docudrama was shot undercover in great secrecy and danger in the dusty gun-manufacturing villages of Pakistan‘s remote Northwest Frontier. A place completely forbidden to foreigners and journalists, let alone filmmakers.
"The first-time Australian director went to Pakistan‘s tribal regions to create, with native Pashtun performers and collaborators, the tale of a jihadist warrior‘s son torn between peace and war. The 11-year-old boy wants to go to school; the fierce father wants him only to learn gun lore, in Darra, their arms-making village. The non-professional actors play versions of themselves (in real life the father helped the mujahideen expel Russia from Afghanistan) and the script hums with credibility. When not scarily enlightening - in the depiction of a guerrilla mindset that prefers Taliban tyranny to American intrusion - it is scarily funny." — Nigel Andrews, Financial Times