Slackistan

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Slackistan
Slackistan FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Hammad Khan
Produced by Hammad Khan
Written by Hammad Khan
Shandana Ayub
Starring
  • Shahbaz Hamid Shigri
  • Aisha Linnea Akthar
  • Ali Rehman Khan
  • Shahana Khan Khalil
  • Osman Khalid Butt
  • Khalid Saeed
  • Rafey Alam
Production
company
Big Upstairs Films
Distributed by Big Upstairs Films
Release date
Country Pakistan
Language English
Box office 0.20 crore (US$19,000)

Slackistan is an independent film directed by London-based filmmaker, Hammad Khan.[2] The film stars Shahbaz Hamid Shigri, Aisha Linnea Akhtar, Ali Rehman Khan, Shahana Khan Khalil, Osman Khalid Butt, Khalid Saeed and Rafey Alam.[3] The film is distributed by Big Upstairs Films.[4] Slackistan was released in the UK in 2010,[5] and has also played at a number of festivals, in such locations as London, Abu Dhabi, New York City, San Francisco and Goa. It has been banned in Pakistan.[6]

Plot[edit]

A young man in his early twenties juggles his dreams to be a filmmaker with his family life, his best friend's troubles, the girl he's interested in and living in Pakistan during political turmoil.

Cast[edit]

Controversy[edit]

Slackistan has not been released in Pakistan because the director refused to make cuts to the film as requested by the country's Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) on January 25, 2011. According to The Guardian, the CBFC objects to the movie because it has swear words in English and Urdu, and "contains the words 'Taliban' and 'lesbian'. Scenes showing characters drinking (fake alcohol for the filming, incidentally) and a joke about beards (as in, 'my beard is longer than your beard') made between characters talking hypothetically about a fancy dress party. These are not the CBFC's only objections, but the main ones it's highlighted."[7] The CBFC have also stated that, even if all cuts are made as demanded, the film would still receive a restrictive adults-only ‘18+’ rating."[6]

In a press release, director Hammad Khan stated “The censor board’s verdict is oppressive, arbitrary and steeped in denial about life outside their government offices. Maybe the establishment’s view is that young Pakistanis saying words like 'Taliban' and 'Lesbian' represent a more potent threat than the bullets and bombs that are, day by day, finding increasing legitimacy in the country.”[6]

Members of the Slackistan cast have publicly expressed their disagreement with the CBFC's decision. “This objection honestly reinforces the feeling of being voiceless that seems to be lingering in the country these days. We really are stripped of our basic right to express ourselves,” actress Shahana Khan Khalil said. “I also find it highly hypocritical for our cinemas to be allowed to show both Hollywood and Bollywood films that depict everything and a lot more are never banned by the censor board.” Actor Shahbaz Shigri said, “We [in Pakistan] haven’t developed the ability to scrutinize ourselves. We point fingers at others rather than correcting ourselves. We don’t laugh at ourselves. This limits our film industry and young film makers that will never get through to the right channels.”[8]

The CBFC's own website states that it prevents the public exhibition of films that break certain vague rules, which include "giving offense to any section of the public or injured the feelings of any class of persons" or "ridiculing, disparaging or attacking any religious sect caste and creed."

Music[edit]

The original soundtrack consists of music by The Kominas, Mole, Zerobridge and others. An official track list is yet to be announced.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slackistan to debut at Cannes – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. May 12, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Slackistan Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Slackistan: A Film by Hammad Khan". Slackistanthemovie.com. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ Butt, Riazat (October 24, 2009). "Welcome to Slackistan: Pakistan's first ever slacker movie | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Imtiaz, Saba (January 25, 2011). "Slackistan banned in Pakistan – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Qureshi, Huma (January 26, 2011). "Slackistan censorship means the future looks tight in Pakistan | Film | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ Sibtain, Momina (January 26, 2011). "Slackistan: Forbidden – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 

External links[edit]