Cameras & Kalashnikovs
The Making of JIRGA
Limited ed. Hardcover (Released June 1, 2018)
Moved by his travel experiences in Afghanistan and encounters with war veterans in Australia, filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour wrote a screenplay set in the current Afghan conflict. His story was about a former soldier returning to Afghanistan to look for the family of a civilian he had killed in battle and to seek forgiveness. Gilmour cast Sydney actor Sam Smith in the lead role, and the two of them flew to Pakistan where they planned to shoot the film with funding from a local investor. But the plan fell through. Their shoot was blocked by the Pakistani secret service and the money disappeared. Instead of cutting their losses and returning home, Gilmour and Smith decided to carry on to Afghanistan and make the film in a country still at war. Collaborating with a small crew of Afghans connected to George Gittoes’ Yellow House in Jalalabad, Gilmour and Smith set about shooting their scenes in one of the most dangerous provinces crawling with Taliban and Islamic State militants. After two months living rough, facing countless obstacles and near-death experiences, Gilmour and Smith emerged from Afghanistan with a movie.
This is director Benjamin Gilmour’s true account of making the film Jirga in Afghanistan, filled with behind-the-scenes photographs by the director.