This Pakistani film was released in 2011 and I wonder how I missed it! I knew that it was a critically acclaimed movie but I hardly paid attention to the news around it and I am regretting it! This is a story of a conservative Muslim man who already has six daughters and is still willing to have more children (The family can barely make the ends meet!). Why? Because he wants a son. When he finally has a son, he turns out to be transgender. The unfulfilled expectations and the stigma around transgenders makes him hate the boy. So strong is his hatred that he locks up the child in his house. How the family deals with the boy’s identity forms the rest of the story.
There are so many themes that the film addresses: patriarchy, transgender rights, rage, friendship, belongingness, family planning etc. The film is shocking and disturbing but not once does director Shoaib Mansoor resort to sensationalism. What’s really surprising to me is that this movie didn’t seem to have any issues with the Pakistan Censor Boards. What was also surprising is that the filmmaker completely forgets the transgender rights issue or even the patriarchal problem and gives a message of family planning in the end. However, it is still a courageous film.