Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival
5 AUG - 7 AUG 2022 — Film
New Zealand International Film Festival
NZ Classification TBC
In Urdu with English subtitles
A married man falls for a glamorous trans dancer in this daring and emotionally intense love story from Pakistani first-time writer-director Saim Sadiq.
Winner of this year’s Queer Palme and the first ever Pakistani film chosen for Cannes official selection, Saim Sadiq’s luminous crowd-pleaser chronicles a family suffocated by societal conventions. The extended Rana clan all live in the same townhouse, comprising of their stern patriarch, his eldest son Saleem and his pregnant wife Nucchi with three daughters, youngest son Haider and his wife Mumtaz. When Haider secretly joins an erotic dance cabaret and falls for ambitious trans starlet Biba, family ties begin to strain… — Michael McDonnell
“Discouraged identities and taboo desires emerge tentatively into the open in Joyland, but unlike in many a coming-out drama, there’s no identified villain or oppressor – just an uncertain world in its own state of societal and generational transition. Pakistani writer-director Sadiq's confident, expressive debut feature is conscientiously fair to everyone in its Lahore-set domestic melodrama of secrets, lies and unforeseen self-discovery… Tartly funny and plungingly sad in equal measure, this is nuanced, humane queer filmmaking, more concerned with the textures and particulars of its own intimate story than with grander social statements – even if, as a tale of transgender desire in a Muslim country, its very premise makes it a boundary-breaker.” — Guy Lodge, Variety
"Sadiq’s assured first feature… navigates a complex web of secrets and lies, pressures and prejudices to create a soulful human drama intent on challenging narrow minds."
— Allan Hunter, Screendaily