On February 22, 2018, the Federation Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) unanimously agreed to ban Pakistani artists and technicians from working in films and TV serials made by Indian producers in any language. This decision was of course made in light of growing tensions and the deteriorating relations between the two countries as of late. Every country is entitled to take action based on their political reasoning, and justify it through patriotism. If India wants to do so as well, so be it; it has the right to do so. However, once again we see that art too has been ...Read Full Post
Whether for smoking, wearing jeans or saying #MeToo, 2017 was a year of constant harassment for Pakistani women
It’s finally that time of the year, when you get to cuddle up in a blanket on the sofa while you sip on hot chai (tea), and reflect on the past year. In fact, I’m doing just that as I write this. As we get through the very last days of 2017, a year that went by rather swiftly, it’s time for an important recap. For me, a great part of the year was spent writing about and highlighting human rights injustices, not just in Pakistan but globally. By far, what throws me off every time is the sheer ...Read Full Post
Just like its predecessor, this year started with a new hope for Pakistani cinema, a hope that the industry would continue to produce better films than it did in previous years. While the industry may have produced more films this year than it has in a long time, unfortunately, the graph went down in terms of the quality of content. Let’s take a look at what the revival of Pakistani cinema looked like this year. 1. Thora Jee Le Rafay Rashdi’s directorial debut Thora Jee Le was considered one of the most promising films of the year, simply because it launched more ...Read Full Post
Rape is a serious issue that is prevalent in the society. Even talking about rape openly takes a lot of courage, let alone making a movie about it. Shoaib Mansoor is known for making thought-provoking movies on social issues that turn out to be a cinematic delight. His previous movies have been pieces of art for movie-lovers and film students. Verna is his third and recent instalment, so expectations obviously had to be soaring high. His previous movies starred big names like Shaan Shahid, Fawad Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Imaan Ali, Atif Aslam and Humaima Malick. However, this time, Mansoor does not ...Read Full Post
I recently came across the news regarding the ban on Verna, Shoaib Mansoor’s upcoming film, and was shocked, to say the least. Mansoor has played a monumental role in the revival of Pakistani cinema, delivering masterpieces like Khuda Kay Liye and Bol. Not only were both great films, they were also centred on very important issues that plague our society today. Bol highlighted the practice of having innumerable children in the name of religion, especially when you cannot even feed them, giving us the legendary line, “Jab paal nahin saktey, tou paida kyun karte ho?” (When you cannot provide for them, why do you give birth to them?) Likewise, the movie Khuda ...Read Full Post
It truly has been a sad and disappointing week in the regressive, woman-hating society that is Pakistan
Unless you live under a rock, you are not only aware of the Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy vs the doctor debate that has stirred the Pakistani nation, but have also most certainly picked a side. Statistically, it is more likely that you support the doctor, and why not? Poor man, who is also a father of four, allegedly got fired – a reminder to the harassers in the Pakistani population that harassment can also have consequences, a concept they are, of course, unfamiliar with. It all started with Facebook and Twitter – which is probably something we’ll also say about the third world ...Read Full Post
Sending a friend request might not be “harassment”, but Pakistanis made sure that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy feels harassed now
Oscar and Emmy Award winner, and an all around advocate for women rights, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC), like for many others, is an inspiration for me too. With documentaries like “A girl in the river” and “Saving Face”, she has won the hearts of millions of people all over the world. A few days ago, one of my friends mentioned the news about SOC getting a doctor sacked from Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH), a renowned hospital in Karachi. Hearing this, I had a million questions going around in my mind: “What could the doctor possibly have done?” “Did he make an inappropriate comment?” “Perhaps he made an incorrect ...Read Full Post
Why are female celebrities asked shallow and personal questions but the men are asked professional ones?
I’m not going to lie, I’m a fan of red-carpet events. The pretty dresses, the sparkly jewellery, the glitz, the glamour, the hair and makeup – I love it all. Does that make me a bad feminist? I really hope not. I wholeheartedly believe in a woman’s right and choice to celebrate her looks, her body and her sexuality. But at the same time, it also sets me off when the media reduces a woman to merely that – just a pretty face. At the trailer launch for her upcoming film, Mahira Khan was questioned by a few reporters regarding those controversial pictures with Ranbir Kapoor. ...Read Full Post
Shoaib Mansoor’s most anticipated movie, Verna, is yet another example of his anger towards social injustice
After hits like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol revived Pakistani cinema, Shoaib Mansoor is all set to return with another potential box office hit, Verna. Directed by Mansoor and produced by Showman Productions, the trailer has already amassed more than a million views on YouTube since its release. #Verna Trailer – 1 Million Views on YouTube!!! A film by Shoaib MansoorReleasing on 17.11.17#HUMFilms #Shoman #MahiraKhan pic.twitter.com/I9UAEIpFz4 — Verna The Movie (@VernaTheMovie) October 19, 2017 Not only have Mansoor’s previous films been considered monumental for Pakistani cinema, he is also the brains behind classic drama serials in Pakistan like Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Fifty Fifty and Ankahi. It is thus unsurprising that news of ...Read Full Post
Benazir Bhutto can wear western attire at Oxford and be praised for her achievements, but Malala Yousafzai can’t?
One can often witness how wearing hijab becomes an obstacle for women here in Pakistan. Be it at work, school or university, you will always be judged and scrutinised for everything you do. However, I have always wondered how a piece of fabric covering one’s head can depict an individual’s personality, to an extent that people believe it gives them the right to judge you for each and everything you say, do or wear. Recently, I came across the news of Malala Yousafzai getting admission into Oxford University and later being ‘spotted’ wearing a pair of jeans and a shirt with a dupatta covering her head. To my surprise, instead of being happy for her admission into one ...Read Full Post