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USA, 2006 (MIFF 2006, Documentaries)

Director: Andrew Neel & Luke Meyer

Darkon was the winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary, SXSW.

Each weekend, on the sweeping soccer fields of Baltimore, they gather. An epic war is taking place and at stake are the riches and glory of an empire.

Darkon is a fascinating and colourful documentary about an endearingly bizarre live action role-playing game, whose hundreds of members dress up as wizards and warriors and engage in simulated, unchoreographed medieval battles with homemade (padded, of course) weaponry.

For the most part, the logic behind their obsession is clear - it is a creative escape from everyday life, a fantasy land in which their passion and exuberance gets its just reward. For some, however, as they develop inter-factional relationships, buy special powers to use in future battles, make treaties and learn secret languages, this escape is becoming the only thing important in their lives.

Replete with the full gamut of characters that you might imagine (plus many you wouldn't), Darkon is an exuberant, hilarious celebration of the true oddity of humanity.

D Andrew Neel, Luke Meyer P Christopher Kikis, Thoma Kikis WS Cactus Three TD HDcam/2006/89mins

Andrew Neel was born in Vermont, USA, in 1978. Darkon (2006) is his feature film directing debut.

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