It’s a strange, scary world to be a child in right now. With so much anger and tension, seeing the youth and innocence of children might feel resentful, but it shows what has been lost. Capturing the world of children is what Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Longley sets out to do with his next documentary feature, “Angels Are Made Of Light.”
Longley made his directorial debut in 2002 with “Gaza Strip,” a film that focused on a 13-year-old boy crossing the Gaza Strip, at a place where Palestinian children often go to throw stones. But it was the filmmaker’s 2007 film, “Iraq In Fragments” that earned the Longley his very first Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. The film received rave reviews as the documentary chronicled the lives of Iraqis living in a time of war, occupation and ethnic tension. The following year, Longley earned another Oscar nomination with “Sari’s Mother,” a short subject documentary about a mother seeking healthcare for her 10-year-old son, afflicted by AIDS.
The director has a history with the region he continually returns to. And with “Angles Are Made Of Light,” Longley seeks to mesh the fragmented conditions children are living in the joy of innocence. At one point during the trailer, one voice remarks on how these children Longley captures are the future. While another voice echoes on writing a book of their childhood. Though the books of these children’s lives are far from reach, their stories can be seen in this harrowing, stirring vehicle from Longley.
“Angels Are Made Of Light” opens July 24 at New York’s Film Forum followed by a national roll-out yet to be announced.
Here are the official trailer and synopsis:
A stirring and beautiful documentary from Academy Award-nominated director James Longley (“Iraq in Fragments”), “Angels Are Made of Light” traces the lives of young students and their teachers at a school in the old city of Kabul. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war.