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Meaningful Movies on behalf of Amnesty International presents 

Snow Monkey

In 2011, George Gittoes (documentarian, war photographer, humanitarian and winner of Sydney’s 2015 Peace Prize) set up his Yellow House Art Collective in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In this compound, music, creativity and play are on show for the local youths in an attempt to drown out to sound of explosions and bullet-fire that dominate the nearby city centre. Gittoes film focuses specifically on three child gangs: the Snow Monkeys, who sell ice-creams from handcarts; the Ghostbusters, who wave smoke into cars to exorcise spirits and extract small tips; and a posse of thugs headed by razor-wielding, larger-than-life 10-year-old Steel. Injecting himself into the film, Gittoes gives these kids cameras and empowers to make their own story shooting with them a local, Pashto-style film: vibrant, colourful and infused with the violence they experience on a daily basis. Snow Monkey presents an insider’s view of a city often described as one of the most dangerous in the world, where brutality is ubiquitous and has the power to corrupt even its youngest citizens.  It is at once an unsettling depiction of the atrocities that occur daily in Jalalabad and yet ultimately doubles an optimistic treatise on the regenerative power of art.

Dir: George Gittoes | 2015 | Australia | 148mins

“Raw and moving, this film is not just a piece of art, or activism, but a complex intertwining of the two. Snow Monkey is Gittoes’ antidote to the erasure of Afghanistan from Australian cultural memory: one that sticks you like one of Steel’s razor blades – long and hard.”

Eloise Grills
MIFF Critics Campus
“…A notable example of filmmaking that dares to scuffle with contemporary horrors in the service of palpable change.”

Tope Ogundare
MIFF Critics Campus
Official Selection
Melbourne International Film Festival 2015

Official Selection
IDFA 2015
12:00 pm
SATURDAY 17th September
purchase ticket