Snow Monkey

    • George Gittoes
    • Australia, Norway
    • 2015
    • 150 min
    • International Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
    The Australian artist and filmmaker George Gittoes has been living in a compound in Jalalabad with his wife since 2011. The Yellow House is an Afghan refuge that also serves as a film set. It’s an assembly line for cheap Pashtun films that don’t shy away from violence. In one particularly amusing scene, a shoot is disrupted by the noise of megaphones used by a gang of young ice cream sellers. Dressed in traditional Afghan dress, Gittoes approaches them and then decides to get the boys together with two other youth gangs from the city by getting them to act in and make a film. This is how “Baba,” as he is affectionately known, attempts to create a better future for destitute young people, forced into work by their parents. It garners him a compliment from a visiting local Taliban leader: “All Afghans love him,” he explains. What follows is a non-judgmental collage of scenes of joy and brutality, with only the aspect ratio giving away whether what is happening is acted or real. On and off set, the street urchins act like Mafiosi, while their hashish and heroin addict fathers waste away in the nearby park. The constant threat posed by drones and ground attacks make little impression on the youth – life goes on.

    Credits

    • 150 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: Pashto, English, Arabic
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    George Gittoes
    Production
    George Gittoes for Gittoes Films, Lizzette Atkins for Unicorn Films, Gittoes Films
    Co-production
    Piraya Film AS
    Cinematography
    George Gittoes, Waqar Alam
    Editing
    Nick Meyers

    IDFA history

    2015
    International Premiere
    IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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