Jirga

Qantas - - ONQ. -

Cast Sam Smith, Mo­ham­mad Mosam

◖78 min­utes ◖Drama ◖M ◖A VL ◖In-seat and on the Qan­tas En­ter­tain­ment App In this modern moral­ity tale, a for­mer Aus­tralian sol­dier, Mike Wheeler (Sam Smith), re­turns to Afghanistan to find the fam­ily of a civil­ian he ac­ci­den­tally killed dur­ing the war. Seek­ing for­give­ness, he puts his life in the hands of the vil­lage jus­tice sys­tem, the Jirga.

The movie is vis­ually stun­ning and its grip­ping nar­ra­tive, though sim­ple, has com­plex im­pli­ca­tions. As we fol­low Mike’s jour­ney from the over­whelm­ing cap­i­tal, Kabul, to a des­o­late, re­mote vil­lage in the com­pany of a taxi driver (Sher Alam Miskeen Us­tad) who speaks no English, we glean in­sights into the hu­man cost of war for all sides. We see that money doesn’t al­ways talk and the spo­ken word isn’t nec­es­sary to con­vey in­tent or emo­tions.

Un­for­get­table and pow­er­ful, this film was a pas­sion project for writer and di­rec­tor Ben­jamin Gil­mour, who bravely made it with a com­bi­na­tion of his own sav­ings and crowd­fund­ing. It has paid off – Jirga was awarded the CinéfestOZ Film Prize in 2018 and is Aus­tralia’s en­try for the For­eign Lan­guage Film Os­car.

©Ben­jamin Gil­mour

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