Shooting our up coming film on the transformation of Pakistan through the political struggle of women called “Facing veils and walls” has been a challenge and an eye opener.
We follow 4 characters who have the common theme theme of elections 2013 as they are unique women standing for elections in Pakistan for the first time. The lives of these women shows a Pakistan evolving, struggling to learn to cope with issues of culture, religion and identity.
Each woman’s story is a touching tribute to the many women suffering in silence or expressing their selves through other forms. Their stories on their own are universal in nature and echoes the various shades in all our lives.
We follow Badam Zari who became a symbol of the assertion of women rights in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas- FATA. We deal with Nusrats struggle in Dir where the Taliban ruled roost for a few years displacing thousands from their homes. We journey onwards with Sanam who as a transgender is still seeking her identity as for the first time in history the transgender are allowed to vote in Pakistan. And then there is Weeru, a Hindu minority and ex bonded labour who ran away from her landlord and now wants to claim her right and serve others.
We split in two teams to manage the scale as the candidate females come from North and South. I took the North team to film Badam Zari and Nusrat whilst Usman was embedded with Sanam and Weeru for the run up to elections.
The film is not about the elections but how this event impacted the lives of these women and their intimate story of who they are and the victories of their lives that nurtured them to finally take such a bold step.