Fri 24 November – 19:30 The Venue
Pakistan 2022
Dir: Saim Sadiq
Cert: 15
127 mins
Starring: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan

The ways of the traditional Pakistani family are exposed and challenged in this exceptional first feature which shows up the damage done to individuals by enforced conformity to inflexible expectations. Living together in the family home in Lahore are patriarch Amanullah, elder son Saleem, his wife Nucchi and their four young daughters, younger son Haider and his wife Mumtaz, the latter couple childless. Haider, unemployed and browbeaten by his disdainful father, does not have the self-confidence to stand up for himself. His wife, outgoing and ambitious, works as a beautician, a job that she loves but is forced to give up by her in-laws when Haider finally gets work, surprisingly, as a backing dancer at a burlesque theatre where trans-gender Biba is the star of the show. Needless to say, the true nature of this work has to be kept secret from his father. Haider immediately falls under the spell of Biba who is strong-willed and used to fighting her own battles. They embark on an ill-fated affair… Meanwhile Mumtaz finally becomes pregnant with a boy, the news of which delights Amanullah but not Mumtaz, whose hopes and ambitions are now never likely to be realised. A remarkably dynamic film, “Joyland” is colourful, insightful and touching. It has won awards world-wide.

Download the film notes here.