JIRGA

Rating: M
Length: 78 mins
Cast:
Sam Smith, Mohammad Mosam, Kefayat Lag Humani
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“Originally to be filmed in Pakistan, the Pakistan secret service blocked production after reading the script, leading the financier to withdraw support. Instead of cancelling the shoot, Australian writer/director Benjamin Gilmour and his small crew relocated to Afghanistan and worked in dangerous conditions, requiring a flexible approach to what they could film and when.

You wouldn’t think of that when watching the finished product; the film feels so controlled. Sparse use of subtitles further heightens the realism, while the soundtrack reflects more cinematic inclinations. The work of composer AJ True and sound designer Liam Egan are largely why JIRGA’s atmosphere feels so rich and full-bodied. The score has a beautiful, lyrical way of rising and falling, coming in and out of consciousness, dabbling in an aural smorgasbord including strings, synthesisers and the sound of wind blowing against surfaces.

JIRGA has precisely calibrated rawness and a greater, more powerful sense of purpose. Its very existence seems to constitute an act of compassion. Little examination of the themes is required to ascertain that Gilmour’s messages come from a position ideologically opposed to war in general, and the war in Afghanistan specifically.

Rich and contemplative…told with utter grace and purpose. “
**** THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Official Trailer