Set and shot in Afghanistan, Jirga is the story of former Australian soldier, Mike (played brilliantly by Sam Smith), who returns to Afghanistan after three years to find the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he gets a driver to take him from Kabul to Taliban held Kandahar where he puts his life in the hands of the village justice system - the Jirga.
Told with the intimacy and realism of a documentary, this is actually a drama set against the background of the immense Afghan landscape; sharp mountains, buttes, stony deserts and dust. But there are also surreal moments in a pristine, blue lake with a pink swan paddle boat. The young Australian is the outsider and definitely no longer in the dominant position he was. It's a measured story of the meeting of cultures and a perspective on Australia's longest war that we have not seen before. The action throws up moral and ethical choices for all, making this beautifully crafted thriller concise, powerful and compelling. The portrayals are rich and the characters are easy to identify with, the camera work superb. Jirga is highly recommended and this week's Movie Of The Week Let's Go To The Pictures Three D Radio, Adelaide