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"An astonishing mythical docudrama of Afghan history … full of striking visual metaphors, breathtaking landscapes and narrative sequences that seem to take place entirely outside of historical time." – Nonfics

As US forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, a group of Afghan kids are looking out for themselves. Digging into the abandoned Soviet mines, they find old explosives to sell. But selling means smuggling goods through the trade routes over the mountains of Pamir, which are ruthlessly controlled by another gang of kids.

A daringly original mix of documentary and fiction, The Land of the Enlightened was filmed in war-ravaged Afghanistan over the course of several years (at one point the Taliban attacked the crew, nearly ending production altogether). Seamlessly combining re-enactments with director and cinematographer Pieter-Jan De Pue's stunning 16mm footage, the film is a unique testament to youthful ingenuity and resilience that captures a rarely seen epic landscape in impressive grandeur, for which it won the Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography (World Cinema Documentary) at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

"De Pue's dramatic re-enactments are the stuff of children's fantasy adventure books; yet the ammunition, which children use as currency in these parts, is real." – Screen Daily