Armed with Faith
Panorama | Documentaries
"You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists." Remember those words from George W. Bush? Pakistan chose "with us" and invited disaster and tragedy. In Geeta Gandbhir and Asad Faruqi’s documentary, we meet some of the men who are picking up the pieces: the Bomb Disposal Unit, who we follow as they operate in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a hot spot for IEDs and suicide bombings. The Pakistani government’s decision to allow the US military on their soil has led to a rash of local terrorist attacks, a massive death toll and a terrified populace. It’s that populace these men protect at the risk of death or, as we eventually see, grievous injury.
The film focuses on three BDU members: "Tiger" Khan, a cocky hotshot; Abdur Rahim, a humble and gracious man; and Shafqat Malik, the head of the unit. "I get asked all the time, ‘Why would anyone in their right mind go near a bomb?’" Tiger says, "and I answer, ‘This is my job.’" Those are the words of a hero and a professional. His unit is understaffed, underfunded and desperate, but that doesn’t stop its members from risking their necks. These guys make for gripping documentary subjects, and in these cynical times they’re a refreshing example of nobility.
Preceded By: DivideDirector: Rabbia Arshad, Alysha Siddiqi, Jamil Ur Rehman / USA/Pakistan, 2017, 8 min.
Ramadan 2011. Gilgit City, North Pakistan. What is the path to peace in this microcosm where neighbours of differing faiths have become enemies?
Preceded By: Invisible LineDirector: Shahnawaz Chachar, Sourath Behan, Danial Shah / USA/Pakistan, 2017, 11 min.
The lack of a physical boundary in the sea between Pakistan and India has cruelly impacted the lives of fishermen and the families they leave behind.