27 APRIL / 08 MAY


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The Land of the Enlightened

Jury's Special Prize, consisting of a diploma.
“Because of its originality and the absolute cinematographic mastery displayed by the director and cameraman Pieter-Jan de Pue, in his way of portraying the bleak and brutal life, rarely seen, of the Afghan children forced to survive in a land at war; in such a quasi-apocalyptic world.”

Pieter-Jan De Pue
87' / 2016 / Belgium
Web: http://thelandoftheenlightened.com/
English, Persium
English and spanish subtitled

Audience vote 8.07

In this seamless blend of fictional and documentary form, we experience a stunning cinematic journey into the beauty of war-tormented Afghanistan. Shot over seven years on evocative 16mm footage, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left for the next generation. 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.

Main Festivals & Awards

Sundance / Rotterdam / Hong Kong

Director's Biography

Pieter-Jan De Pue is an independent filmmaker and photographer who graduated from the RITS film academy in Brussels. While directing commercials, he was concentrating on his first feature documentary, The Land of the Enlightened. He has travelled for long periods of time in Afghanistan, photographing the country and its people for organizations such as the International Red Cross, Caritas International, the UN and international Demining organizations. His photographic work on Afghanistan and Central Asia has been published in Weekend Knack, Le Monde, DeMorgen, De Standaard, and has been exhibited in several galleries and museums such as Photo Museum Antwerp, deBuren in Brussels and the Institut des Cultures d’Islam in Paris. In between film and photo projects abroad, he has worked as a film director and photographer on several book projects and museums. Pieter-Jan is connected to the German photo agency LAIF.

Director:Pieter-Jan De Pue
Screenplay: Pieter-Jan De Pue, David Dusa
Photography: Pieter-Jan De Pue
Edition: David Dusa, Stijn Deconinck
Sound: Robert Flanagan
Music: Denis Clohessy
Production: Savage Film, Fastnet Films, Submarine, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, Eyeworks
Producers: Bart Van Langendonck


Thursday 28th - 20:00
documentamadridCINETECA - SALA AZCONA

Friday 29th - 16:00
documentamadridCINETECA - SALA AZCONA

Sunday 8th - 16:00
documentamadridCINETECA - SALA AZCONA

Poster The Land of the Enlightened

International Sales:
Films Boutique, giorgia@filmsboutique.com, +49 030 695 378 50





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