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Islamabad

May 16, 2015

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‘The Story of a Banyan Tree’ launched

Islamabad
Mehergarh, Black Box Sounds, Safma and Dai Edface joined hands for the media launch of a 30-minute documentary ‘The Story of a Banyan Tree’ here.
‘Banyan Tree’, researched, scripted and narrated by Dr. Kamran Ahmad has been directed by Tauseeq Haider and Aftab Abbasi. The film screened on the occasion was in Urdu, but it is also available in English version (and this not a dubbed version but the film was lensed actually on location with narration both in Urdu and English separately.
In thirty minutes, we travel through time with narrator passing through woods and all around the country, talking about ancient ‘Banyan Tree’ which has been burnt because non-Muslims sat under its shade and talked about life for hours. This act was part of another act of terrorism, destroying the soft image. There was a time in not-too-distant past when we could all talk about life and our roots. These roots and identities are today in conflict. The film takes us through temples and mosques, ‘mazars’ and ancient sites.
The young generation is told that Pakistan was not like that even twenty years back. Things were at peace and harmony. In these two decades, we have just about lost everything. We have even become, to some extent, immune to fundamentalism and extremism. Religion is playing and controlling life and in this process narrative has been.
Director Tauseeq Haider was brief in his comments. According to him, the ‘Banyan Tree’ is just an appetizer. We need to do more. The film can be telecast on TV for wider exposure. Kazakhstan has already agreed to screen it on its television. The film is an attempt to bring peace, and for this, harsh elements of religion must be de-emphasised. The over-emphasis by extremists must fade out like a fading image on the screen. The film took around eight months from pre-production to post-production. With crisp images and brisk editing, it moves briskly and leaves a deep impression.
(The author can be

reached at [email protected])

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