Presenting women’s issues through films
By Khursheed Hyder
KARACHI: A woman’s search for her child, who disappeared during the war in Bosnia, takes her to Germany when she discovers, 10 years later, that she is alive and living with adoptive parents there as her odyssey to get back her child begins.
The film, Warchild, shown at the Goethe Institute on Thursday to highlight women’s issues, was a joint venture with Tehrik-e-Niswan, which presented a music video Aseer Shahzadi, based on the poem by Fehmida Riaz.
Dr Mark Litz, the director of the institut, in his speech said the institute was celebrating its 30 years and wanted to highlight women’s issues and how society deals with problems women face.
Sheema Kermani, speaking about her music video, said that till the mindsets are not changed, society cannot progress. She said though slowly but age-old customs were withering and change could be seen here.
Fehmida Riaz said she wrote this poem in the early ’80s on women and their sufferings but ended this poem on hope because she felt there was a change taking place. She praised Sheema Kermani for bringing her poem to life in her video and said today women are raising their voice in parliament and are in various fields of life.
The film Warchild, more than an hour’s duration, based on a true story in Bosnia, is directed by Christian Wagner. The film projects the direct and indirect consequences of the war in former Yugoslavia. About 20,000 Bosnian children lost their birth parents in the war. Few parents know that their children are alive and living with adoptive parents in other countries and have no right to their own children as the Bosnian government is powerless in the face of adoption law. A very moving film with beautiful shots, the main character that of a mother, was acted extremely well by Labina Mitevska.
The video Aseer Shahzadi, whose idea was conceived by Anwar Abbas and directed by him and Sheema Kermani, was made to highlight women’s causes through music as music videos are popular among young people, and thus it became easier to convey a message more effectively. Sung beautifully by Tina Sani, the low-budget video was completed in four months.