Son of a Lion

Eleven-year-old Niaz lives with his father in a small town in northwest Pakistan, where for generations already the local population has been earning a living by producing weapons. Niaz’s future also seems to be set. But still, he dreams of eventually being allowed to go to school. The other young people consider Niaz an outsider. When he finally refuses to follow in his father’s footsteps, pent up conflicts break out in the family. The Australian director Benjamin Gilmour worked for more than three years on his remarkable debut film. He developed the screenplay together with his nonprofessional actors, inhabitants of the main location Darra Adam Khel and members of the Pashtun people. This resulted in authentic dialogues and scenes that give us a rare glimpse into the region, both profoundly socio-cultural and political at the same time. Gilmour furthermore has managed to create a sensitive portrait of a young man forced to decide between his individual aspirations and traditional duties. Son of a Lion is a film both delicate and powerful, in which Gilmour impressively proves his creative talents and his flair for timing with serene confidence and an unusual power of imagery.
Ansgar Vogt
by Benjamin Gilmour
with Niaz Khan Shinwari, Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad
Australia / Pakistan 2007 92’

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