5 Award-Winning Pakistani Documentaries That Changed How We Look At The Country

Documentaries are a type of narrative that brings forward the truth in a kaleidoscope of ways, and that is exactly what Pakistani filmmakers have been doing for the past decade or so with their hands on the genre.

From highlighting the ills of society and exploring the dark underbelly of the country to exploring the heritage and culture that exists in the nation, documentaries have truly helped people in Pakistan and around the world change their opinions.

But, out of all of them, which ones have been the most powerful and impactful? Diva has the lowdown…

 

Saving Face (2012)

A documentary that exposed the harrowing culture of acid-throwing in Pakistan, Saving Face made for a heart-wrenching story of survivors who fought against all odds to be rehabilitated back into society. The documentary went on to win at the 84th Academy Awards, and has since then made Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy a household name and a icon for women rights in Pakistan.

 

A Girl In The River (2015)

Another documentary from Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, A Girl in the River, proved to be yet another powerful film to explore the theme of honour. The documentary explored the story of Saba, who saw an attempt on her life made by her own father and uncle, in a bid for ‘honour.’ The film takes on a journey to cover her story whilst also looking at the loose laws protecting women in the nation, that often are of no use.

 

Song of Lahore (2015)

An underrated documentary to come out of the SOC Films banner, Song of Lahore is a true masterpiece that highlights the importance of music in Pakistan. The documentary explores the theme through the story and journey of the Sachal Orchestra, and makes for a beautiful narrative that highlights the loss and preservation of classical music and musicians in the country.

 

Armed With Faith (2017)

Pakistan has its fair share of problems, and it is often that we only see the ones creating issues while forgetting about those who are solving them. That’s where a film like Armed with Faith comes in. Exploring the lives of three men in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bomb Disposal Unit, who have families at home to support and a homeland to defend, the film by Asad Faruqi looks at what it takes to keep the country safe.

 

 

Indus Blues (2018)

There may be many films exploring themes that have become a bit too difficult for the audiences to swallow, but then comes Indus Blues. Highlighting the loss of musical heritage in the name of extremism and loss of interest, the documentary by Jawad Sharif takes on a difficult topic but explores it with utmost perfection. If this doesn’t make you worry for our loss of culture, nothing ever will.

 

Shahjehan Saleem
Shahjehan Saleem

The author is the Editor of Diva Online as well as a film & fashion critic. He is also a professor in the Department of Media Sciences at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.

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