Pakistani author, Fatima Bhutto, says she is proud that the film ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ will represent Pakistan in the Oscar Awards 2021.
Bhutto, who is also the granddaughter of former political leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, voiced her thoughts in a tweet on Thursday.
Fatima Bhutto: Zindagi Tamasha
Bhutto shared the image of the poster of the film on her Twitter account. While voicing her excitement she said, “Pakistan’s greatest cultural strength isn’t our diversity (we are diverse), range (lots of it), or style (brimming with it). But that our artists are daring and fearless.”
Is #ZindagiTamasha the first time a film that's banned in its home country makes it to the Oscars? I can't imagine but then…
— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) January 14, 2021
She went on to add, “I’m proud Zindagi Tamasha is representing us at the 2021 Oscars. The Academy is lucky to have this film.”
Earlier, filmmaker Sarmad Sultan Khoosat had expressed gratitude for the selection of his work for the Oscars.
“All the heartache that Zindagi Tamasha gave me has somehow restored my faith in the power of art too: the sheer, almost physical power of art to make life imitate it. This announcement, for me, is a very bright light shining at the end of this dark tunnel of a year. I made this film in Pakistan and foremost, for Pakistan, for my people and the misfortune that my people have remained deprived of it weighs quite heavy on my artistic conscience,” he had said.
He went on to add, “Some pride is slowly kicking in though and no matter how far we go with this official selection, Zindagi Tamasha will be representing all of us – our ‘Pakistan’. I feel honored on behalf of my entire team and I am extremely grateful to the committee for finding it worthy enough.”
Earlier, the film had landed in trouble before its release. The conservative religious organization had opposed the release of the film accusing it of disrespecting the clerics in the movie.
The release of the movie, which was scheduled in January, was delayed after religious political parties, particularly Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan(TLP), decried the movie for humiliating clerics and values of Islam.
The backlash on film
The movie, ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ or ‘Circus of Life’ is about a conservative, devout Muslim businessman, whose video of dancing and watching women at a wedding went viral on social media. His video incited hatred and disdain from people in his neighborhood which becomes taboo for the family, cursed and shamed extensively following the video scandal.
Following the backlash, Khoosat had clarified that his movie does not malign any particular sect, profession, or religious leaders. ‘Zindagi Tamasha is an empathetic and heartfelt story of a bearded man who is so much more than just that’, wrote Khoosat in his open note.