Pakistani-Norwegian director Iram Haq’s film What People Will Saypremiered at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) to a positive response from the audience.
The film, which takes some of its inspiration from the director’s life, is based on the life of Pakistani-origin teenager Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) living in Norway struggling to lead a dual life – one which follows her parents wishes of living the ‘Pakistani’ life, while also keeping up with the Norwegian culture.
Nisha’s fight for her freedom and her Pakistani parents’ effort to steer her towards their culture causes a conflict between the two and results in Nisha being sent to Pakistan to live with her extended family members.
The film shows the generation gap between the parents and daughter – especially the torment children of immigrant parents go through.
Haq explained that the film partly takes inspiration from her life: “It’s (what happened to Nisha) happened to me when I was a teenager… It is still happening (to young girls) in Norway and elsewhere.”
However, she says her film is not “a negative portrayal of Pakistan. I am talking about the subject.”
The film left quite a mark on the viewers at the festival. -DN