South Asia

A Day Will Come

A Day Will Come

The Mughals are a middle class family of ten living in Quetta, one of Pakistan's most culturally conservative cities. The two eldest children, Ilyas and Yasmin, are celebrating their engagements during the same week. But the two could not be more different.

Afghanistan's Opium Trail

Afghanistan's Opium Trail

Over 90% of the world's opium now comes from Afghanistan. This no-holds barred documentary follows this illicit industry, from the cultivation of the opium plants, to the processing of heroin, to the cross border smuggling that occurs between Afghanistan and Iran. The cameras actually catch the ambush of smugglers by Iranian guards in the rocky mountains of Afghanistan.

Ajit

Shown at eight international film festivals, Ajit is a close-up view of an eight-year-old boy who works as a domestic in a middle class Calcutta household. The film shares realities of childhood among the impoverished in underdeveloped countries.

Arranged Marriages

Arranged Marriages

Westerners have always been averse to the idea of arranged marriages, holding up the "love match" as the ideal. In this film, a young, divorced European explores attitudes among the educated Indian couples of her acquaintance, asking them how they met and married their spouses. What emerges is an engaging portrait of young marrieds people who have strived for personal happiness within a social system which would seem to negate these considerations.

Beasts of Burden

Beasts of Burden

India's cities are thronged with faceless rickshaw workers. This film puts a human face on those at the low end of the caste system whose only chance to eke out a bare subsistence for their families is to do the work done by beasts of burden in more affluent societies.

Benazir Bhutto: Walking the Tightrope

In 1988, Benazir Bhutto became Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first woman to head a Muslim country. Born into a feudal society and educated at Oxford, she straddled two worlds. She was the daughter of the charismatic Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first democratic leader of Pakistan, who was executed in a military coup in 1977.

Born to Bondage

Despite a decade of feminism, the life of Indian women at the turn of the 21st century is painfully hard. Widespread poverty means families need to send their children to the workplace, especially the girls. Pasupathy, at 11 spends the day kneeling at a factory bench gluing together matchstick boxes, earning 25 cents per thousand boxes.

Buddha Realms

Buddha Realms

Buddhism, which started in India, has shown a remarkable ability to adapt across race, language, and cultural barriers. What became the dominant spiritual tradition of the East has now taken root and is flourishing in the West. Buddha Realms captures this contemporary spiritual phenomenon which sometimes manifests itself in massive edifices and gargantuan crowds of worshippers.

Caste at Birth

Caste at Birth

Few Westerners realize the grave situation of India's "untouchables." There are 150 million of them who live a segregated life. They cannot own land or get an education and are condemned to the most menial jobs, such as sweeping streets, cleaning toilets, or butchering animals. In the villages they are subject to abuse, sometimes killed for minor slights to the landowners. From birth, all alternatives are closed to them.

City of Djinns

The Indian subcontinent has historically been torn by religious strife. Its future is at the mercy of the many religions whose fundamentalist members nurse ancient injuries and continue to retaliate for them.

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