T2F screens ‘Haal’ on Gen Zia era
KARACHI: The Second Floor (T2F) recently screened a film entitled ‘Haal’, co-written and directed by London-based filmmaker Assad Zulfiqar Khan, at its premises.
Haal, on life in the Gen Zia-ul-Haq’s years, tells from the perspective of a Khatak dancer and a journalist. The film explores how the junta used Islam to cudgel the media and murder the arts.
The 22-minute short film started with the scene where a girl famous for classical dance, Nighat Chaudhry danced on the beat of melodious song in beautiful white dress. Meanwhile, Khan also quoted the speech of Gen Zia in which he said, “Martial Law had been imposed in the country where he wanted the strict laws and philosophies of Islamisation.” Speech part was taken from Gen Zia’s address delivered in 1977.
In the film, Khan showed a journalist Bashir Riaz, who was tortured at the famous Shahi Qila for writing an article based on anti-military emotions and a dance teacher, Nighat Chaudhry who continued teaching even after threats to her life.
Haal attempts to depict the circumstances in which curse of intolerance was introduced in the society in the tenure of Gen Zia, and reminds its audience that moderation is the ultimate goal for a freethinking society.
The screening was also followed by a question answer session with the director where he discussed his experience filming in Pakistan, the pitfalls that filmmakers faced, and what he foresees as the future of the industry.
During the discussion over the ideology of former dictator Gen Zia, Khan said although general was dead now but his ideology was still alive. The situation of women in Saudia Arabia also arrived in discussion. “Saudi Arabia is nothing to aspire to,” Khan responded and lawyer and TV show host Ayesha Tammy Haq applauded his statement.
Khan further commented that women in Saudi Arabia did have rights there as they could not even drive. He while applauding the situation of Pakistan said that whatever freedom people have in Pakistan, they should value it.