Releasing this year, the film, Dukhtar (Persian for “Daughter”), by Afia Nathaniel, an independent Pakistani filmmaker, has begun to generate quite a buzz in the local entertainment industry. In the mountains of Pakistan, a mother and her ten-year-old daughter flee their home on the eve of the girl’s marriage to a tribal leader. A deadly hunt for them begins.
In 1999, Nathaniel heard of a story she never forgot: A Pakistani woman had left her husband and fled with her daughters, only to be persistently hunted by her family. The filmmaker was inspired.
“Her journey of escape was a harrowing tale spread over several years,”
“What remained in my mind was the vision of this one woman and her extraordinary courage.”
Dukhtar is the first road thriller by Pakistan’s Film industry. Samya Mumtaz playing Allah Rakhi herself was married at the age of 15 and was forced to migrate towards mountains with husband Daulat Khan played by Asif Khan. After 20 years in a tribal medieval Allah Rakhi’s 10 year old daughter is forcefully married to a tribal chief. Allah Rakhi will not tolerate this injustice and elopes with her daughter ‘the DUKHTAR ‘from there.
On their way they crossed with Sohail (Mohib Mirza) the truck driver. She convinced Sohail for help by telling her heart throbbing story and the injustice with her daughter. Sohail keeps the ritual of PakhtoonWali and decides to take them back safely to Lahore.
Jane Schoettle, Programmer for TIFF, said,
“TIFF is dedicated to presenting strong contemporary stories from around the world, and Afia Nathaniel’s Dukhtar is precisely that: a beautifully photographed, compelling story that is universally accessible. We are pleased to present the film in our Discovery section, where we aim to draw attention to this year’s most exciting emerging directorial talents, a category into which Afia Nathaniel most certainly fits.”