The privatization of Pakistan’s media and television industry over the past two decades, along with the availability of high-speed internet and an easing of censorship, has revolutionized what plays in Pakistani homes. While hopes that this more open environment would encourage a Pakistani new wave have yet to be born out, an episodic series released this summer is perhaps a harbinger of things to come. Film Quarterly columnist Bilal Qureshi introduces readers to one of the most exciting voices in the emerging Pakistani film industry, Asim Abbasi, whose über-stylish series Churails (2020−) presents a women’s detective agency that works undercover to obtain justice for the women of Karachi. An extrajudicial feminist fantasy, Churails is remarkably uncensored and unrestrained, and ground-breaking in its exclusive focus on women’s rage.
The Veiled Avengers of Pakistan’s Streaming New Wave
Bilal Qureshi is a radio journalist and cultural critic exploring the intersection of international politics, identity and art. From 2008 to 2015, he served as producer and editor for NPR’s All Things Considered. He now profiles authors, filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians for the network. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Washington Post. He also co-hosts the FQ podcasts for Film Quarterly.
Bilal Qureshi; The Veiled Avengers of Pakistan’s Streaming New Wave. Film Quarterly 1 March 2021; 74 (3): 66–70. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2021.74.3.66
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