Thursday, July 23, 2009

FILM: Pakistan's first English-language feature movie in 3 decades ...

With all this media frenzy over the Taliban and terrorism in the combined "Af-Pak" territory (as if Afghanistan and Pakistan have no right to be considered sovereign nations if it hinders Western perceptions of security!), it's important for us not to dehumanise the experiences of Pakistanis and Afghans.

The Lifting Of The Veil: Kashf is a new feature film directed by Ayesha Khan, a Pakistani film maker who grew up in Pakistan but is now based in Europe. Here's a brief synopsis of the movie:

Armaghan is born out of an oath his mother makes to a Pir priest she meets at a Sufi Shrine when she was childless. She promises the Pir who blesses her to let her first son “walk the Sufi path” when he grows up. But shortly after his birth in Pakistan, Armaghan is sent off to the US to live with relatives after his father’s death. After 25 years Armaghan returns to Pakistan a young man to discover a lost culture, a mystic religion, and a family secret.

You will find interesting interviews with Khan here and here.

Personally I have a problem with the "government-sponsored Sufism is the solution to all our security woes" analysis. I prefer the approach that Congressman Charlie Wilson called for in Afghanistan - spending money on schools and hospitals and development and creating jobs and hope. Poverty and hopelessness attract people to desperation which terrorists feed off. But I guess it isn't in some people's interest to do that.

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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