Pak film 'Khuda Kay Liye' a big draw at IFFI

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Panaji, Nov 25 (UNI) Pakistani film 'Khuda Kay Liye' (In the name of God), which attempts to confront fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, its effect on the Pakistani youth and the difficulties faced by Muslims in general post 9/11, was a huge draw at the ongoing 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here today.

It was the first ever Pakistani film, directed by Shoaib Mansoor, one of the prominent personalities from the entertainment industry in the country, to be screened at IFFI.

The cinema hall at INOX was packed to the capacity with a galaxy of stars including noted directors Mani Ratnam, M S Sathyu, Sudhir Mishra, Ketan Mehta and Nafisa Ali among others.

The film had an added attraction for viewers here because of the special appearance of veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah who plays a maulana with moderate views on religion as expressed in his terse remark, ''deen mein daarhi hai, magar daarhi hi mein deen nahi hota'' (sporting beard may be religious, but religion does not mean only sporting a beard).

The film was an attempt to confront the interpretation of Islam given by the fundamentalist clergy and showed the opposition building up among the civil society against this version of Islam.

The film also tries to give the message that terrorist acts by some and state excesses in some cases should not be allowed to poison the relationship among people of the nations and different religious communities.

The protagonist, who suffers at the hands of US investigative agencies in wake of the 9/11 incidents, at one place writes to his American wife ''do not hate all Muslims because some of them harmed your country and I will not hate US because some people did injustice to me.'' ''It was a well made movie which treated the difficult theme very deftly,'' was the general comment given by the audience as they came out of the theatre.

Some viewers felt that though the court scenes were preachy on religion, they were needed to dispel the misgivings about the teachings of Islam.

The music of the film which contributes greatly to the impact of the film is composed by Khawar Jawad and Rohail Hayat. The lead roles have been played by Shaan, Fawad Afzal Khan and Iman Ali.

'Khuda Kay liye' centres around three people - Mansoor who goes to US for higher education in music. During his visit, the tragic events of 9/11 takes place and he is arrested by the American authorities on suspicion.

Mansoor's younger brother falls to extremist views on Islam after being motivated by his extremist friend on the ''path of God''. He gives up his musical activities for the same.

Then there is Mariam, a cousin of the brothers who arrives from UK. Her father wants to marry her off to one of them to prevent her from marrying a Britisher. Naseeruddin Shah plays the powerful cameo of a Muslim scholar who clarifies the often misunderstood and misinterpreted tenets of Islam during the course of a court case.

Shoaib Mansoor has produced and directed TV shows for PTV and also penned stories and screenplays for his drama productions.


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