Pitshanger Pictures - The Prince of Nothingwood (E) 86 mins | St Barnabas Ealing

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Pitshanger Pictures - The Prince of Nothingwood (E) 86 mins

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 20:15 - 22:30
St Barnabas Millennium Halls, Pitshanger Ln, London W5 1QG, UK
Ian Hamerton
£5 (drinks and snacks extra)

This is a doc on the Afghani filmmaker Salim Shaheen. He has made 110 movies, with his 111th being chronicled here. But if you were to click on his IMDb profile, you wouldn't find a single credit beyond this one (as of now). As he duly notes, his movies aren't industry-produced like Bollywood or Hollywood; they are made for no money or profit, hence Nothingwood. He makes films for love of the craft: he goes into the desert, on the mountains, atop a roof building, anywhere just to shoot on natural location. The only crew is the cameraman. They are shown to audiences at community screenings, rather than movie houses. 

French director Sonia Kronlund is fluent in Shaheen's Persian (IIRC) and, when she's on-camera, often acts like a visiting spectator. She has a low-key style of filmmaking that lets the subject speak for himself. We get biographic info on Shaheen, such as his multiple marriages and children, and how he was a nonviolent general during his time in the military. 

The only thing I wish there were more of is how he goes about deciding to make films; it's a bit lacking in terms of the creative process. Nevertheless, his passion for life is infectious, and you might actually miss him when the movie's over.