This film is an impressive accomplishment by Gilmour. Sure, it's a little rough around the edges, but that also has its appeal, especially given the extremely difficult circumstances under which the film was made. Gilmour travelled to the North West frontier of Pakistan, where foreigners are not allowed. At great personal risk (and with ongoing risk to the local villagers), Gilmour filmed in a clandestine manner using nonprofessionals.
It's a simple story, not unlike many Iranian films. An eleven-year old boy, Niaz, works for his father, Sher Alam, an old Mujhadeen who fought against the invading Russians during the long war against Afghanistan. Sher Alam makes guns but Niaz just wants to go to school. I love the way the film assumes the child's perspective. Niaz doesn't want much, but he wants it bad. There's a heart-breaking struggle to achieve his seemingly unattainable goal, and the cultural aspect woven into the film is beautiful.
My seven year old also enjoyed Son of a Lion. There is one brief scene where an animal is slaughtered and we covered his eyes (and ours) for it.
All kudos to Gilmour for making this film. This is an example of world cinema made with passion and commitment, with respect for both the subjects of the film and the audience. Gilmour has no background in film-making. He spent time with these people and decided he wanted to tell a fictionalised version of their story. I highly recommend it.
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