Pakistan not shown in negative light in my film: Iram Haq
Toronto Sep 15 (IANS) 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.
It is a horror story of a free-spirited Norwegian schoolgirl born to 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 Haq who too was forcibly taken to Pakistan as a teenager and kept there for one-and-a-half year.
"It is a personal journey for me. It happened to me when I was a teenager " the director said at the premiere here.
Haq said she dared to follow her own path. "I live the life I wanted. I have a son... we stopped this social control " she said.
Asked about whether her film portrays Pakistan in a negative light considering some very unpleasant scenes about family and police in Pakistan Haq 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 " she said.
Neither was she trying to portray Pakistani men in a negative light. She said the father in the film loves her daughter and he wants the very best for her. But he is trapped in a culture.
"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.
Haq 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 the parents point of view also."
Eighteen-year-old actress Maria Mozdhah who shames her parents in the role of young schoolgirl Nisha in the film said her character is a very complex one.
Mozdhah whose parents immigrated from Afghanistan to Norway said: "Someone with a multicultural background will relate to my character."
She said her character had found a balance between the two worlds in which she lived.
Interestingly the Pakistan part of the film was shot in India s Ajmer and Udaipur. Haq too has a deep Indian connection as her father was born in Rajasthan. Her mother s family comes from Lucknow.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com)