Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Son of a Lion 2007

Directed by Benjamin Gilmour

Benjamin Gilmour's audacious docudrama was shot undercover in great secrecy and danger in Pakistan's remote Northwest Frontier. "The script hums with credibility." — Financial Times

Australia / Pakistan In Pashto with English subtitles
92 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Benjamin Gilmour
Haroon John


Alison McSkimming Croft


Haroon John


Amanda Brown


Niaz Khun Shinwari
Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad
Baktiyar Ahmed Afridi
Agha Jaan
Anousha Vasif Shinwari


Pusan 2007; Berlin 2008


Visiting filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour‘s audacious docudrama was shot undercover in great secrecy and danger in the dusty gun-manufacturing villages of Pakistan‘s remote Northwest Frontier. A place completely forbidden to foreigners and journalists, let alone filmmakers.

"The first-time Australian director went to Pakistan‘s tribal regions to create, with native Pashtun performers and collaborators, the tale of a jihadist warrior‘s son torn between peace and war. The 11-year-old boy wants to go to school; the fierce father wants him only to learn gun lore, in Darra, their arms-making village. The non-professional actors play versions of themselves (in real life the father helped the mujahideen expel Russia from Afghanistan) and the script hums with credibility. When not scarily enlightening - in the depiction of a guerrilla mindset that prefers Taliban tyranny to American intrusion - it is scarily funny." — Nigel Andrews, Financial Times