Angels Are Made of Light traces the lives of students and teachers at a small school in Kabul, Afghanistan, over three years. Through the school we are introduced to people in the neighborhood.

Our first narrator is Sohrab, a boy who hopes his love of books will lead to a life of the mind, not manual labor. Sohrab’s older brother, Rostam, wants to follow his father, but is torn about his future.

Their younger brother, Yaldash, feels trapped in his boss’ metal workshop, and dreams of the luxury of study. Their father fears a return of war to the city, and their mother, teacher Fazula, reflects on the changing nature of youth in Afghanistan.

As the film progresses, the scope broadens to include characters like Nik Mohammed, a teacher in his sixties whose memories - illustrated with archival sequences - open a window into Afghanistan’s past and politics.

Nabiullah, a new boy in the neighborhood, struggles to keep his father’s hot food stand from bankruptcy and imagines a future Afghanistan with neither Americans nor Taliban.

Moqades, a young religion teacher, espouses non-violence and decries factionalism and corruption among the powerful. Teacher Hasiba sees herself in her young students, like the spirited Sita.

Rogul, an elderly cleaning woman in the school, recalls her youth under the Soviets and the slide into civil war that made her a refugee, and looks on nervously as tribal factions again compete for power.

A presidential election passes and the history of the country enters a new stage. But what does the future hold for the people of Afghanistan? 



Contact: Annie Roney
Phone: 415.332.6471 x200




117 minutes / USA - Denmark - Norway / 2018  
Dari, Pashto, Arabic & English
dolby atmos / 1:2.39 

Director: James Longely
Edited by: Janus Billeskov Jansen, Waltteri Vanhanen, James Longley
Editor: Per K. Kirkegaard
Producer: James Longely
Co-Producers: Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joslyn Barne, Torstein Grude  
Executive Producers: Danny Glover, Basil Shadid  
Co-Executive Producer: Susan Rockefeller, Tony Tabatznik  
Composer: John Erik Kaada
Re-Recording Mixer / Sound Desig: Henrik Gugge Garnov,Thomas Arent   

Produced by: Daylight Factory
In Co-production with Final Cut for Real, Louverture Films, Piraya Films

Produced in association with:

With the support of:
Danish Film Institute
Norwegian Film Institute
Filmkraft Rogaland

The film was supported with grants from:
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Danida, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Stiftelsen Fritt Or
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
(with support from
Open Society Foundations
JustFilms | Ford Foundation
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
Bertha Foundation
Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund United States Artists
Art Matters 

This film was made with generous support from AFGHAN FILM


Telluride Film Festival 2018 - World Premiere
Toronto International Film Festival
New York Film Festival