Society and Culture

Pakistan not shown in negative light in my film: Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker

 

Pakistani-origin actress-director Iram Haq’s film "What Parents Will Say", which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is a bold take on female oppression among South Asian families, particularly in cloistered societies like Pakistan.

Sep 15, 2017
Pakistani-origin actress-director Iram Haq’s film "What Parents Will Say", which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is a bold take on female oppression among South Asian families, particularly in cloistered societies like Pakistan. 
 
It is a horror story of a free-spirited Norwegian schoolgirl, born of Pakistani immigrants, who one day suddenly loses her freedom. She is kidnapped by her father and taken to Pakistan - an alien land and culture for her.
 
The film is also the personal story of Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker Iram Haq who too was forcibly taken to Pakistan as a teenager and kept there for a year and a half.
 
``It is a personal journey for her. It happened to me when I was a teenage,’’ the director said at the premier of the film here.
 
Iram said she dared to follow her own life. ``I live the life I wanted. I have a son... we stopped this social control,’’ she said.
 
Interestingly, the Pakistan part of the film was shot in Ajmer and Udaipur in India. Iram too has a deep Indian connection as her father was born in Rajasthan. Her mother’s family comes from Lucknow. 
 
Asked about whether her film will portray Pakistan in a negative light considering some very unpleasant scenes about family and police in Pakistan, Iram said she never intended to cast anything in negative light. ``I didn’t think about negative portrayal of Pakistani culture. I am talking about the subject in this film.’’
 
Neither was she trying portray Pakistani men in negative light. 
 
She said the father in the film loves her daughter and he wants the very best for her. But he trapped in a culture in which he has not integrated. 
 
``He loves his daughter and she loves him....(but) the father is under pressure.’’
 
The director said the aim of her film is to build a bridge between immigrant parents and their children.
 
Iram, whose first feature I am Yours also premiered at TIFF in 2013, said, ``I wanted to make this film before I am Yours. But I wanted take time and tell it from parents’ viewpoint also.’’
 
Eighteen-year-old actress Maria Mozdhah, who shames her parents in the role of young school girl Nisha in the film, said her character is a very complex one.
 
Maria, whose parents immigrated from Afghanistan to Norway, said, ``Someone with a multicultural background will relate to my character.’’
 
She said her character had find a balance between the two worlds in which she lived

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