What are the implications for democracy in Pakistan when secular political parties have succumed to the Islamic agenda? What does it mean when the army appears to be the only force able to contain the opponents of democracy? President Musharraf agrees to explore this apparent contradiction at length over dinner at his official residence, the Army House, with filmmakers Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan.
They film encounters the MMA - an alliance of religious parties - a tribal parliament, truck drivers, young eite party goers, a Sindhi peasant woman and her husband and people on the street. The filmmakers engage them in discussions on President Musharraf and democracy.
Watch a fragment at MySpace.com.
Dinner with the President was selected for IDFA Jan Vrijman selection November 2007 and shown at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam.
Dinner with the President: A Nation's Journey A film by Sabiha Sumar &
Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters)
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Pakistan, 1979. Saleem (Aamir Malik) is an aimless youth in love with local beauty Zubeida (Shilpa Shukla), and adored by his widowed mother, Ayesha (Kiron Kher). Life seems to flow in measured, bucolic beauty, but old and new trauma looms because of a pair of fundamentalist Muslim insurgents staying in the village. Their zealotry ignites a macho spark in Saleem and soon he is rejecting his mother for her Sufi philosophy, and Zubeida for seeing him outside of wedlock. Things get even worse with the arrival of some Sikh pilgrims, one of whom wants to find his lost sister. Anchored by Kiron Kher's moving performance, Silent Waters gradually evolves from a dreamy portrait of rural life (replete with Bollywood-esque wedding merriment) to a brutal history lesson. Viewers who are unfamiliar with the political time and place of this film are likely to be horrified to learn of the unconscionable cruelties visited on Muslim and Sikh women during the 1947 partitioning of Pakistan and after. Activist director Sabiha Sumar lets the story speak for itself, making this film both a moving, sociologically fascinating drama and a harrowing indictment of gender-based oppression. read more...