The Imperfect Filmi Family: Kapoor and Sons, Since 1921

Kapoor & Sons 1




These are just a few adjectives that one can begin to describe Kapoor & Sons, but this film is so much more, and truth be told I’m at a loss of words on where to begin. Rarely have I walked into a Bollywood film, especially those with queer characters, and walked out with sense of overpowering emotion engulfing me. Kapoor and Sons, I can finally say, is one such film.



Snooze Fest Karachi

This review originally appeared here.


Impressed by Sabiha Sumar’s earlier film Khamosh Pani with its strong script and poignant take on Pakistani politics, although admittedly sometime sketchy direction, I was intrigued enough to want to see Good Morning Karachi at the 3rdi film festival despite its rather predictable plot.


Filmi Fhan: Interview with Afia Nathaniel


Asalaam-walaikum khawateen-o-hazraat,

Today marks an interesting turn in the evolution of this blog. Filmistani Journeys began as a online journal of all things South Asia and pop culture, it covers Pakistani dramas, Bollywood films, Pakistani films, and even as yet unpublished articles on Iranian and Israeli films. Its diversity reflects the diversity of our own (pop culture) experiences! And it is with this in mind that MM and I begin a new collaboration, a podcast called Filmi Fhan, for the filmi in all of us.


Dastaan Episode 2


Pakistan ka matlab kya, lā ilāhaʾillā-llāh.

Does religion make a nation? Does it make a qaum? Does it make a secure and stable entity? Most importantly, does it make us united?

Inasmuch as Bano and Hassan’s love story begins to blossom, the crux of the narrative in Dastaan is on nation building and what really makes a nation, what defines it. Last week, I brought up historian Ayesha Jalal’s work, so, this week I’ll start with one of her (many!) lectures. Speaking at the Hudson Institute, Dr. Jalal brings up two very significant points: first, of course, is on the struggle to make Pakistan, but more significantly, her second point is on an emerging popular culture that makes Pakistan more than just a failed state, a constant and recurring criticism in recent history.


Sadqay Tumhare Episode 12


Re khat-khat haan khat-khat baaje dastak woh na ab tak aaya,

Re tab se haan kab se, haan dekhe raahein, ki ab tu khol baahein aaja,

Umad-ghumad ghumein, re machle re mora mann, goonje re baalam ke bol.

Nagada saang dhol baaje, dhol baaje…

Dhaayn, dhaayn, dhum, dhum, dhaayn!

In true cinematic tradition and given that this is holiday season, let’s go out with a bang, khawateen-o-hazrat! As this is the last review for the year, I give you what our Shaano only wishes she could do. Yes, burst out into song and dance – Gujarati style at that – in the middle of that dholki as her new beau-to-be watches from the ramparts. Why ramparts? Well, it’s war after all! Make no mistake some loves are never meant to be.


Sadqay Tumahare Episode 11


Bulleh Shah ooh kon utaam tera yaar,
Ooss dey hath Quraan hai, ossay gul zanaar.

Before I go further let us all take a moment to enjoy Shanno and Khalil! Given the latest trend for mashups which would you prefer: Shalil or Khanno, either way this, Khatwateen-o-Hazrat, is the beginning of the end. As I impatiently devoured this latest episode a sinking feeling began to set in, a feeling that’s not going to go away anytime soon, which is why I give you Shanno’s dua and Khalil’s safar all to the melody of Sohail Haider’s Nimi Nimi Aag Te, one last time. For making us fall in love with you as much as you love each other, Shanno and Khalil, this one’s for the both of you.


Dastaan Episode 1


Aj akhan Waris Shah nu kitun kabran vichchon bol,
Te aj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla varka phol.

Ek roi si dhee Punjab di, tu likh likh maare vain,
Aaj lakhan dheean rondian tainu Waris Shah nu kahen.

Waaaay… dardmandaan day dardiaa, uth takk apnaa Punjab,
Aaj bele lashan vichhian te lahu di bhari Chenab.

Kise ne panjan paanian vichch ditti zahar rala,
Te unhan paanian dharat nun ditta pani la.

Iss zarkhez zameen de lun lun futtia zaher,
Gith gith charhiaan lalian, fut fut charhia kaher.

Aaj akhan Waris Shah nu kitun kabran vichchon bol,
Te aj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla varka phol.

Takhsim-e-Hind. Hindustan ka Batwara. The Partition of India.