Something extraordinary is happening. Pakistani cinema is slowly unfurling around the world, and now a Pakistani film has been chosen as Britain’s official submission for the foreign-language category at the 90th Academy Awards. ‘My Pure Land’ directed by British Pakistani filmmaker Sarmad Masud, has been chosen as the first Urdu language film as Britain’s selection for the Oscars and marks a first for Pakistani cinema.
‘My Pure Land’ tells the true tale of how a mother and her two daughters fought for their land against an army of bandits
International critics have dubbed the film a ‘feminist western‘ with women in centric roles who strive for vengeance. The film is based on the true story of Nazo Dharejo, who grew up in a rural pocket of Sindh with her two sisters and elder brother. Her father, Khuda Buksh was a farmer while her mother Waderi Jamzadi raised her children.
Khuda Buksh raised his daughters to be brave, fearless and valiant, handing them guns and bullets from a very young age
Nazo, the eldest daughter was given the nickname ‘Mukhtiar,’ and was the first one to be taught how to work a gun by her father. Filmmaker Sarmad Masud’s original script was about police corruption in Pakistan but scrapped it after he discovered the story of the ‘Toughest woman in Sindh.’
Nazo, the ‘Toughest Woman In Sindh’ is a local hero, and at age 41 lives to tell the tale
She sat down with Sarmad Masud to discuss the manner in which the story would be conductedand relayed her yearning for her story to simply be told.
The film is set in a 24-hour siege, shot through ‘guerilla‘ cameras that emphasized the rawness of living in a deserted Sindh
‘My Pure Land’ was entirely shot in Pakistan and stars Suhaee Abro, Salman Ahmed Khan, Razia Malik, Tayyab Ifzal and Eman Fatima and vows to uphold a feminist undertone amidst realism. The 90th Academy Awards will take place on 4 March 2018.
We wish ‘My Pure Land’ all the best in the Oscars race. The UK has only been nominated twice before at the Academy Awards, and so let’s hope for the best.