The 'Film as Evidence' Series at SAHSOL: A Celebration of Storytelling and Law
Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law (SAHSOL) recently hosted the 'Film as Evidence' series, an exceptional fusion of cinema and law that shed light on the profound influence of regulation in our world. Curated by the talented Pakistani writer and director, Mr. Farjad Nabi, this series was a captivating exploration of the interplay between the personal and the political through narratives deeply rooted in Pakistan and its surroundings. He shared, “In one month, there has been so much variety and so many issues and such vibrant interactions, which is a vital part of this series. Those who attended have been enriched for life.”
The series commenced with the screening of Zinda Bhaag, a feature-length film that intricately wove the tales of three friends in Lahore embarking on a quest to find a way to foreign shores. Following the screening, an insightful discussion was led by Mr. Nabi and moderated by Mr. Muhammad Ali, delving into critical issues of local and global inequality, human trafficking, and the challenges of portraying working-class lives on screen.
In a departure from traditional film events, the series also featured a creative writing workshop led by Natasha Badhwar, Indian independent filmmaker, author, and columnist, titled "Wisdom of the Memoir." Engaging participants in crafting emotionally charged and honest essays, this allowed a chance to illuminate the power of personal narratives and their ability to inspire recovery, healing, and joy.
The documentary Pins & Needles, Laboring Bodies in The Gurgaon Garment Industry, directed by Badhwar, spotlighted the remarkable resilience of female workers in Mumbai's garment sector. This thought-provoking film was followed by a heartfelt discussion with Dr. Sadaf Aziz, Dean, SAHSOL and Badhwar, offering insights into the making of this important and sensitive documentary.
The third session showcased the films B for Naoo and Barzakh, directed by Roohi Kashfi and Moiz Tirmizi, respectively, which explored vital themes of child education and women's reproductive autonomy. The screenings were followed by engaging Q&A sessions featuring distinguished panelists and Mr. Nabi, who recognised how powerful and moving the films were.
The series culminated with the screening of All That Breathes, an Academy Award nominee and winner of the Best Documentary Prize at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festival 2022. Directed by the immensely talented Shaunak Sen, this powerful film follows two brothers who run a bird hospital dedicated to rescuing the injured black kites of New Delhi, amidst the pollution and political upheavals of the country. Ultimately, it underscored the series' commitment to presenting thought-provoking content in the hopes of encouraging meaningful dialogue on issues that affect our everyday lives more than we realise.
The 'Film as Evidence' series at SAHSOL served as a platform for substantial discussions and a celebration of the impact of storytelling on law and regulation. On the impact left on its audience, Dr. Aziz said, "The series was intended to provide an opportunity for students to appreciate and to learn the many ways in which storytellers can bring law and regulation through our everyday lives. I'm very grateful to Farjad Nabi for helping to curate an event centred on films that were further animated by discussions amongst directors, writers, legal experts and the broader LUMS community. In addition, Natasha Badhwar's workshop, that she travelled here to deliver, left an indelible mark on those who were lucky enough to participate."