Private Project

Khan a little boy in the Hindukush

This film in four parts is for preschool children and their parents. It was mainly shot in 2000, so parts of it is history by now.
Through Khan, a little 3½ years old Kalasha boy in the Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan we get an intimate picture of family life and traditions among the non-Muslim Kalasha.
Khan never sleeps alone and has no toys. However, he plays all the time and trains the activities of the adults at an early age.
We follow Khan to Grandma’s summer-place where other children play.
We see his brother teaching at the school.
Khan’s father brings the first toilets to the village.
We see Khan’s uncle churning butter in a blown-up goat-skin.
The shepherd Suali shows Khan, how to play the flute.
Two years later, Khan sees his own film along with other villagers. Most of them see living pictures for the first time in their life.
The filmmaker has been a “family member” for many years.
Khan knew about being filmed with the little camcorder and found it funny watching himself afterwards. Sometimes he played to the camera. Most of the time, he forgot about it.
Since the shooting, material changes have occurred: For example, by now the family houses have small stoves and private latrines. More and more have a shower room and a cement floor. Khan’s mother has an electric butter churner. Khan and many other young Kalasha have smartphones and are on facebook.
Khan is now a clever college student hoping to enter medical school to become a doctor serving his people.

  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Shakil Khan
    Key Cast
  • Washlim Gul
    Key Cast
  • Saifullah Jan
    Key Cast
  • Yasir Khan
    Key Cast
  • Pali Azam
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Social life, Children, anthropology, household
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 23, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Pärnu International Filmfestival in 2002:
    July 11, 2002
  • Himalaya Filmfestival 2005
    November 6, 2005
Distribution Information
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
    Country: Denmark
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Birgitte Glavind Sperber

Birgitte Glavind Sperber: Born 1942, M.Sc. in Biology and Geography from University of Copenhagen. Retired senior lecturer in Geography and Biology from University College South in Denmark.
Every year 1983-2008 and in 2018, 2019 and 2022 long stays, in total over 2½ years, among the Kalasha, a non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan .
Education in social anthropology from Aarhus Open University. Author of books and ethnographic papers on the Kalasha.
Since 2000 shooting with a camcorder.
First film made at Danish Film Institute’s Video-workshop in Haderslev in 2001.
Since then working alone at my computer at home.
12 of my Kalasha documentaries have been selected for screening at 24 international film festivals. Two have been awarded ("The Last Honours" and "Kalasha Medicine").

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Director Statement

None of the scenes were directed, no artificial light was used.