India is obsessed with films. Not surprisingly, India is home to the largest film industry in the world. Some films hold a mirror to the happenings in the society; for some, films provide an escape into fantasy from the same harsh realities.
But can films shape a nation’s destiny? Yes, says Nadeem Paracha, a columnist for Pakistani newspaper, Dawn. In an interesting and humourous piece titled, Evil Popcorn, Paracha picks three Pakistani films made in the 1980s and 1990s, and shows how they both shaped and reflected the deepening of the Jihadist mentality in the Pakistani society.
Here’s an excerpt:
I went looking for them to investigate a possibility of finding the cultural roots of what grew into religious and ideological extremism and myopia in Pakistan.
One can pin-point almost all of Ziaul Haq’s Machiavellian farce in the name of Islam as containing the main roots of the social and political extremism that now plagues the nation.
I will not go into the academic and scholarly details of this observation, but rather discuss the issue by reviewing the three films that I rediscovered. Two were made and released in the 1990s and one in 1980. They are interesting examples of the kind of mindset that many common Pakistanis started to develop at the conclusion of the anti-Soviet ‘Afghan jihad’ in the late 1980s. (End of excerpt)Read the complete piece here. Highly recommended.