Stories about documentary

The Karachi Biennale: Is art a bigger threat than extra judicial killings?

What transpired at the Karachi Biennale 2019 (KB19) soon after its inauguration is simultaneously disquieting as well as deeply insightful. It presents an opportunity for us to reflect on the systemic and endemic intolerance for dissent that exists in our social, administrative, and political structures. We live in times where art and speech are not only censured by official channels but even society at large often turns a blind eye to the callous condemnation of free expression by the powers that be. Anything that makes them uncomfortable is considered taboo and everything that questions the status quo is considered a ...

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The Great Hack: The ‘great data robbery’ of our time

About a year ago, I wrote a piece about how data had been manipulated via Facebook to affect the US elections. I wrote about how our digital data was in our control and we can’t blame Facebook for targeted ads. Towards the end of it, I also predicted that Facebook would get away with a slap on the wrist while nothing would happen to Cambridge Analytica, because technically, they hadn’t done anything illegal and there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. Last month, Facebook got fined $5 billion for their role in misusing customer data. Last year, Facebook revenues were ...

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Our Planet is more traumatic than it is engaging, and therein lies its greatest fault

Filled with majestic views, dazzling imagery and mesmerising natural spectacles, Our Planet is undoubtedly visually stunning, but it is also traumatising. The nature documentary that arrived on Netflix earlier this month aims to take a look at the impact of climate change on the various life forms which populate the Earth, but takes a few questionable turns along the way. Evidently, years of work have gone into the creation of this visual masterpiece. Over the course of eight episodes, the series takes the viewer from frozen worlds to lush jungles to stunning water bodies, showing how animals live in these ...

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Netflix’s Unacknowledged had me low-key believing aliens have been visiting Earth

Stephen Hawking once wrote: “The idea that we are alone in the universe seems to me completely implausible and arrogant, considering the number of planets and stars that we know exist, it’s extremely unlikely that we are the only form of evolved life.” It’s not a crazy idea, but rather an arrogant one to believe that aliens, creatures, other living beings do not exist in our vast Milky Way. However, what can most certainly get you labelled as ‘crazy’ is saying that aliens have visited our planet. As someone with minimal interest in aliens and the conspiracy theories surrounding it, especially ...

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Smooth criminal: After Leaving Neverland, MJ’s legacy ‘isn’t the same anymore’

After a long, busy day yesterday, I finally sat down to watch Leaving Neverland. As I was just out of nursery school during Michael Jackson’s prime – scribbling away pencil drawings in a primary classroom – I wasn’t much of a Jackson fan growing up. I was thus not particularly anticipating watching the documentary, and the prospect of watching two abuse victims reiterating their story made a part of me dread the prospect. The documentary narrates the story of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, on how they were sexually abused by Jackson during the 80’s while they were ...

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Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams is an explosion of colours, an art for everyone

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay is the biggest band in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay is the best band in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay is the band that every other band aspires to be today. And it also wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay deserve every measure of their hard-earned, phenomenal success. Their recently released documentary, A Head Full of Dreams, is an accumulative proof of all my aforementioned claims. This film is the amalgamation of ideas that not only stood the test of time but were also pleasantly put ...

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‘All or Nothing: Manchester City’ surely proves one thing – Pep Guardiola is a tactical genius

When Manchester City lifted the English Premier League (EPL) trophy last season, they became the first side in the history to record 100 points in a single league season. Not only this, on their journey towards the pinnacle of the league, they shattered numerous records; most wins (32), consecutive Premier League wins (18), most goals scored in a season (106), most passes in a Premier League game (902), most away wins (16), most away points (50), biggest goal difference (+79), points ahead of second (19). It was a record-breaking season that saw Pep Guardiola’s men winning two out of ...

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The untold story of what made ‘Among the Believers’ an Emmy-worthy documentary

In the summer of 2014, I was living in New York when I met Hemal Trivedi. She told me she was making a film about Pakistan and wanted me to join her and the other director, Mohammed Ali Naqvi, to help them craft the narrative authentically. I had seen dozens of films about Pakistan that were made by foreign filmmakers and honestly, most of them were horribly inaccurate. I felt it was a story worth telling which is why I decided to take the job. The first step of editing any documentary is to familiarise oneself with the raw footage by ...

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When Cynthia Ritchie exposed Pakistan exactly as every Pakistani has known it for 70 years

It is interesting how there are times when despite your passionate avowals of the virtues of being unbiased and uninvolved, taking sides becomes a moral obligation and a strategic necessity. When you find love on your left and hate on your right, you can no longer be a bystander on the aisle of nonchalance and call yourself righteous. Photo:Sarwar Mushtaq Lies create fear and fear fuels hate. Perhaps clichéd and simplistic, but that is my only explanation for people hating people they have never met or known. With the interminable narrative of fear we are bombarded with day ...

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Dancing to the tunes of the Song of Lahore is pure joy

Prepare to be mesmerised by the Song of Lahore, a lovely documentary directed by twice Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Andy Shocken. Be ready to be hypnotised, to clap along, hum along and to fall madly in love with the Sachal-Jazz ensemble and their mission to make, according to founder Izzat Majeed “global music that is rooted in Lahore.” In order to preserve Pakistan’s fading musical roots, Majeed established the Sachal recording studio in Lahore and gathered the best of Pakistan’s classically trained instrumentalists, mostly aging men from extremely humble backgrounds, to revive the music he had grown up on. ...

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