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You can’t murder a legacy – by Saria Benazir

The Bhutto family has occupied a well-known place in the world politics and surely, when one articulates about democracy in Pakistan, the Pakistan Peoples party is the only party, which from the beginning of its foundation; laid by Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto fought against dictatorship and moved with its objective of “Islam is our religion. Democracy is our policy. Socialism is our economy. All power to the people & Martyrdom is our destination”. Resisting against the Martial Law of Ayub Khan and bringing an era of prosperity in Pakistan, regaining thousands of miles, that had been taken by India during the War of 1971 and later, the Bhutto Government, aimed at providing Bread, Clothing & Shelter to the people of Pakistan, providing education and health facilities to every body & removing unemployment & diseases. Yes, it was Bhutto, who vowed to make Pakistan a nuclear power even if they’d to eat grass.
Later, his daughter Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, continuing with the legacy of her father strived with might and main to make Pakistan a land of her father’s dreams, the Pakistan, for which Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto _ her father had given his life. Benazir, who was too young a woman in politics felt the sorrows of her nation and struggled to bring about democracy & the rule of justice _ Providing equality to all, strengthening a Pakistan, which worked on laws, not the principle of MIGHT IS MAIN. Benazir Bhutto _ the Daughter of Destiny, who aimed to empower women & improve the literacy rate_ who worked tirelessly to remove poverty, unemployment & disease from Pakistan and of course, remove the black mark of terrorism from the name of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family has its roots amongst the people. Any discussion about Pakistan is incomplete without the name “BHUTTO”, which occupies a significant place in history, yes, moreover, Bhutto’s legacy has become a huge tale_ a blood filled legacy, which holds an important place in poetry, in books and in songs and well, it’s also a fact that it was the BHUTTO family, which gave an identity to Pakistan in the West and the immense efforts of Bhuttos for the sake of bringing the world together is also not deniable.

A film on the life of Benazir Bhutto “Bhutto: The Film” was one of sixteen documentaries selected for judging at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film directed by Duane Baughman includes a number of new interviews and comments from Benazir herself. And references to India appear to be fleeting, but the film suggests she genuinely wanted peace with India. It opens with the infamous David Frost interview that Benazir gave shortly after her return to Pakistan in 2007, segues into the assassination attempt on her life in Karachi and then delves into Pakistan’s conception.

The documentary then showcases Benazir’s life through interviews with her friends and family, a part that shows some new images of Benazir highlighting her evolution from a woman who had been exposed to ideals from the wave of opposition to the Vietnam War to a woman who surprised all her friends by agreeing to an arranged marriage.
The visually dazzling opening flashback sequence ends with a bomb blast announcing the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. The number of people interviewed for Bhutto is extensive, even if their sound bytes barely feature any criticism of her. Interviewees include Victoria Schofield, Christina Lamb, Reza Aslan, Tariq Ali, Steve Coll, Arianna Huffington, Shuja Nawaz, current and former Ambassadors Husain Haqqani, Akbar Ahmed and Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Peter Galbraith, Mark Siegel, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former President Pervez Musharraf. The Bhutto family is also interviewed, including President Asif Ali Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sanam Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto and Benazir’s uncle Ahmad Ispahani.
That image slowly fades over Pakistan’s green flag with its crescent moon and five-point star. A history lesson begins to take hold, but never overwhelms. If the goal of a good documentary is to tell the story and motivate thought, questions and discussion, then the makers of Bhutto should rest easy. In this case, history and its retelling has a soul, and the soul of Benazir Bhutto inhabits this film. Feminist, or not, Bhutto’s life was filled with contradictions and that is what makes this presentation so compelling. It is a triumph of skilled editing that a spider’s web of historical facts are interwoven with archival footage, news reports, interviews with contemporaries, both friend and foe — the whole package morphing quickly into live action and cutaway shots that are cinematographically beautiful and breathtaking in composition. Bhutto is a feast for the heart, mind and soul, delivering an education and history lesson in its 115 minute run time.

It appears that if there is a villain in the film, it is Musharraf, who is blamed for her death. At an earlier screening, the director was loudly challenged by Musharraf’s son and accused of portraying the general unfairly.

However, Baughman defends himself saying, “I don’t believe that I portrayed the general unfairly, I believe history always portrays dictators in a poor light, and the rest is up to the audience to decide whether or not that’s true.”
This documentary is vexing, dramatic and fascinating; certainly possessing a life beyond the glitter and cache of Sundance.

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Farhad Jarral

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