Archive Cinema City 2016.

The Land of the Enlightened

Genre: Documentary, Drama, War
Country: Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Afghan
Year: 2016
Duration: 87'

Director: Pieter-Jan De Pue
Scenario: Pieter-Jan De Pue, David Dusa, Herwig Deveerdt

Cast: Gholam Nasir, Khyrghyz Baj, Noor, Zulfu, Koko Ewas, Koko Mullalih, Marina Golbahari, Sergei Kovinchenko, Devin A. Cleeves, Sohrab Nazari

Programme selection: 360°


A group of Kuchi children are living in a minefield around Bagram airfield, Afghanistan. They dig out anti-personal mines in order to sell the explosives to child workers mining in a Lappis Lazulli mine. The trajectory of the blue precious stones goes via Pamir to Tajikistan and China, through an area controlled by child soldiers. When they are not waging their own mini-wars in the daily madness of life in Afghanistan, the children are fleeing away in their personal fantasies and dreams, while the American soldiers are planning their retreat.


Pieter-Jan De Pue (1982) is an independent film maker and photographer and graduated from the Film Academy RITS in Brussels. While been directing commercials, he was concentrating on his first full documentary The Land of the Enlightened. In view of this film he has been traveling for long periodes of time to Afghanistan, photographing the country and its people for organizations such as the International Red Cross, Caritas International, UN and international Demining organizations. His photo work on Afghanistan and Central Asia has been published in Weekend Knack, Le Monde or DeMorgen, De Standaard, and has been exhibited in several galeries 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 worked as a film director and photographer on several book projects and museums. Pieter-Jan is connected to the German photo agency LAIF.

Original language: English, Persian
Subtitle: English, Serbian