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A film from Pakistan: with a message of peace
By Behindwoods News Bureau.
April 04, 2008

It is said 'Not everyone can be a great artiste, but a great artiste can come from anywhere'. Greatness acquires greater meanings when it is achieved through struggle and strife, defying odds, proving to the world that everyone is equal. We are lucky to live in parts of the world where peace still reigns and life is pleasant as compared to parts of the world where

Khuda Kay Liye

violence and bloodshed have driven life into the depths of despair. When works of art are created by people from places facing threats to their life, then they must be celebrated and hailed, for they mark the success of the will to win.

In 2007, a football team from a country that is at the moment maybe the most troubled part of the world walked onto a podium to receive the Asian football trophy. The men of that team came from Iraq, torn by political disarray and terrorism. The death of a long standing dictator, its repercussions and a caretaker government that chose to use more military than democracy had turned Iraq into a minefield of death and destruction. Yet, 11 men walked onto that podium to lift the trophy after defeating men from countries having far better conditions to practice the sport. It is true that adversity does drive us to our best. It was rightly said in the Sportstar that 'few things in international sport rise above banality. This one did.'

Now, why are we talking about Iraq's football team? Because the Indian hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics…..? No, this time we are witnessing an inspiring piece of cinema from the most unlikely corner of the world. That a small country like Bosnia has won Oscars before is true, but we never thought that Pakistan with all its troubles and violence can produce a film that will find such widespread appreciation among audience across the world. 'Khuda Kay Liye' (In the name of God), a movie by Pakistani director Shoaib Mansoor has captured the attention of many a critic across the world. The first thing that you notice about Khuda Kay Liye is its theme. It discusses the life of Muslims across the world post 9/11 (the scars of that day still remain). How many of them were branded terrorists, arrested, ostracized, expelled and many other things that have been beaten down in the classified documents of the governments of many European nations. Of course, none are to blame as the knee jerk reaction was quite natural given the scale of the disaster that caused it.

The movie also scores well by taking firm and reasonable stand against some of the fundamentalist principles that misinterpret terrorism as a form of religious practice. Such strong and hard hitting statements on celluloid will necessarily show Islam in a better light in places where tensions still prevail due to a handful of extremists. It is with pride that we can say that an Indian, Naseeruddin Shah, plays a key role in the film. Now, to the sad part. The director of the movie had to flee Pakistan even before the movie released after a fatwa was issued against it by some radical maulvis. Courageous creativity comes at a price, at least in Pakistan. On the brighter site, the movie will release in India this Friday. Also, Khuda Kay Liye should for once and all make us shed our belief that movies are only exported from India to Pakistan and not vice versa. To repeat 'not any film is a good film, but a good film can come from anywhere'

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