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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The biggest surprise from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Part documentary. Part Malick. Pure bliss. Incredibly ambitious and shot over 5 years in Afghanistan. Filmed on grainy 16mm, The Land of Enlightement tells the story of two armies: a small group of Taliban children traversing through their mountainous occupied land, the other being US Army. Raw, thought provoking, immersive, and transportive.
Outsider projects oversimplified colonialist narrative on exploited youths. Pieter-Jan De Pue spends nearly a decade of his life in order to capture these scenes on film. The amount of support he received as well as his extreme drive and willingness to tango with every power and obstacle at play during the production is mind blowing. Is this an attempt of whites trying humanize Afghans?