By: Nadil Baloch
Films have been produced to represent the social, political, economic, health and educational problems, family and religious conflicts in the world. World had experienced numerous social changes and a number films have been made on these social changes, thereafter, impacts of films on social life of the society. Films are the easiest way of discriminating the message to the large masses due to which film culture is always promoted by the state and society for bringing social equilibrium in the society.
Very few films are available in Balochi film industry but most of them were made for the sack of comedy rather than presenting the social issues of the society. Many short or feature films have been made by Baloch filmmakers but the purposes were to fascinate the masses or only a source of entertainment for the people. They were never serious films which could provide a purposeful message for social reform or social restructuring.
In Balochi Film industry only the films of Dr. Hanif Sharif or some other filmmakers are considered serious, which represent the social issues of the Baloch society due to which most of the viewer considered them worth watching. The reasons not producing good film vary such as lack of institution and economic constrains. Despite these all, Balochi film industry has improved as compare to past because new emerging Balochi filmmakers coming forward and producing films which are far better and the need of present society.
Balochabad, a film directed by Shakir Shaad and his colleague Arif Badal, is going to be screened in Pakistan as well as in board. It is the only film which is made on the situation of female education in Balochistan. I may not be wrong to say that it is the first Balochi film which is made on female education and women empowerment. After coming of its official trailer, it was supported and appreciated by people and political figures of Balochistan as well people in foreign countries.
It is the only Balochi film produced within the country in which Baloch female actress is playing her actual role. Baloch females were never allowed to perform in films because it is considered a social taboo in the society. Women who performed at films were considered negative. But Shantul Film Production changed this mindset by releasing Balochabad in which female played her actual roles. If we have a glance on female participation in Balochi films, we can find little or no place for females in Balochi films. In history, a women performed in Hammal-o-Mahganj film released in 1976 which was directed by Anwar Iqbal. Before screening, the common masses had resisted and protested against this film and they believed that it was defaming the respect of Baloch society.
After that very rare women had participated in Balochi films. Baloch women who were in foreign countries like Golf countries or Iran could participated but no in Pakistan. The films made in Pakistan were mostly male oriented and females role were played by males by wearing female cloths or dressing. This culture has greatly affected the Balochi Film industry. Both women and directors of the film were always in fear while selecting the women for films due to the social pressures. Indeed, women participation in film is very important. Film has a great effect on the lives of common masses because it has power to manipulate the mind of people. Film direct the minds of the people what to think and what to not.
Balochabad film also has great sociological significance for Baloch society. It promotes the gender equality and women participation in film making where women were always neglected or presented with negative connotation. This film shows the real situation of female education and it would be a tool for the people of the province to get a lesson and promote female education. This film also pave the way of females who want to work in the films but they were not allowed or had fear to work in Balochi film industry.
Films like Balochabad should be promoted because it is perpetuating the women empowerment and participation. Such films are very important in terms of Balochistan where the female literacy rate is 33.5% which is very low and the volumes of social taboos are very high in regards to female participation in film making. The social taboos created many impediments in the ways of female education in the province.
Enhance such film should be appreciated and promoted. People have to participate in screening so that the producers, actors, actresses, directors and others should be encouraged for making such films in future.
The writer is M.Phil. Scholar at Department of Sociology, University of Karachi, and Freelance writer and Researcher. He Can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The Balochistan Point on February 1, 2020