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December 7, 2019

French embassy shows film on child rights

Islamabad

December 7, 2019

Islamabad :The French Embassy's Cultural Centre screened a French-Italian film, Iqbal, the tale of a fearless child.

Made by French director Michel Fuzellier, the animated film deals with the violation of the rights of the child and more specifically the slavery of minors.

It is inspired by the life of the young Pakistani, Iqbal Masih, sold into bonded labor at the age of four in a carpet factory in Punjab.

At the age of 10, he heard about the Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF). He became the first Pakistani child rights activist who helped free 3000 children from bonded labor, before being killed at the age of 12 in 1995.

The beauty of the drawing and the fluidity of the animation brilliantly serve this strong subject that is the slavery of the children. In a mode as humanist as political, as poetic and joyful as touching, "Iqbal, the tale of a fearless child” deals with the violence inflicted on exploited children around the world. The intention of the director was not to make a documentary but to tell a story that touches a young public: the film is thus of deliberately universal scope, with a plot taking place in an imaginary country.

Voluntarily optimistic, the film gives a large place to the dreams of the child, which constitute an opening to hope. Iqbal escapes by his very poetic dreams imagining a better world, the one he will manage to create once out of prison. The child becomes an artist when he transports his dreamlike visions on the splendid carpets he weaves. In this regard, the film is brilliantly an advocate of artistic talent as a bulwark against despair and obscurantism: we cannot put the Imagination in prison.

The film constitutes a true cinematic pleasure (photography and music) and simultaneously a very rich informative source. It was also supported by UNICEF France and UNICEF Italy. They wanted to use it as a tool for supporting and advocating the fight against child labour.

When it was released in 2016, the film was accompanied by the distribution of an educational booklet for teachers to make children aware of the plight of millions of minors still working today around the world, and who are victims of abuse, trafficking, and exploitation of all kinds.