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Portrayal Of Women In Pakistani Films

2344 words - 9 pages

Saeed, H. Female portrayal in Pakistani cinema
" All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl"
Jean-Luc Godard 1
For years I believed that media, be it television or cinema, is a
mere reflection of the happenings in one's society. And as
Marjorie Rosen (no date) also puts it, " …more than any other
art form, films have been a mirror held up to society's porous face…".2
For some societies this might hold true, but when I see Pakistani films… well this perception is totally
shattered. From skimpily dressed dancing queens to lacha (skirt) worn fighting vagabonds: these
women represent vulgarity and cheapness, unlike the Pakistani society that thrives on values and
My methodology research tends to investigate the portrayal of women in popular Pakistani cinema.
From pictorial representation to their unrealistic roles in the storyline: a brief analysis about the
manipulation of the female gender while focusing on the Pakistani cinema in the last five years.
The reason for choosing this topic is my background in film reporting but more importantly as a
filmmaker I believe that regardless of its artistic
value, cinema by definition is a cultural document,
if properly organized, can be used as a resource
for the study of a nation's collective psychology. 3
A related study was carried out by Rabia Hussain
in 2008, where the researcher concluded that
illiterate Pakistani film makers misrepresented the
perception of Pakistani women from civilized, to vulgar and materialistic. Her results comply with my
research and yet guided me to take a different study path. 4
1 Godard, J. L. (no date) Quotes on Cinema. Quotations Book. [Online] [Accessed on 19 November 2011] 2 Rosen, M. (no date) Quotes on Cinema. Quotations Book. [Online] [Accessed on 19 November 2011] 3
Shafiq, K. A. Women and Cinema in Pakistan. The Republic of Rumi. [Online] [Accessed on 13 November 2011] 4
Kanwal, R. H. 'Portrayal of women in Popular Pakistani Cinema: Atypical Perspective.' In Fear,
Horror and Terror: 2nd global conference. Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, 3rd - 6th September 2008. Moynihan, M. [Online]
[Accessed on 15 November 2011]

Saeed, H. Female portrayal in Pakistani cinema
If you type "Pakistani films" in Google Images, the results show you a lot more than just film posters.
It is in fact a sneak peek into the products of Pakistani cinema, that no Pakistani is really proud of.
The posters (as shown below) reflect females showing off their assets or bare backs to men holding
Besides some exceptional films, (like Shoaib Mansoor's
Khuda Ke Liye and Bol)...

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