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Abu

A kaleidoscopic personal documentary in the vein of Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, exploring family dynamics, emerging sexuality and Pakistani-Canadian identity.

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Credits

Dir-Scr Arshad Khan
Prod Arshad Khan, Sergeo Kirby
Canada
2017
80min
Prod Co gray matter productions, Loaded Pictures

A compelling documentary about a young Pakistani man’s difficulties in coping with migration and the resultant cultural change, his emerging sexuality and an increasingly orthodox father. Arshad Khan’s unique and moving documentary explores his fragmented family life. They moved from a happy existence in Pakistan to become struggling immigrants in Toronto. In the 1980s, Arshad’s liberal, fun-loving father recorded his family in and around their Islamabad home – a seemingly carefree place where they lived in harmony with each other. This charming footage is the emotional backbone of the film and presents a stark contrast to their contemporary life and how each member attempts to adapt to their new circumstances. Arshad’s father, in particular, becomes increasingly conservative, embracing a religious dogma and its accompanying practices. As for Arshad, he faces prejudice, an increasingly tense relationship at home and struggles with his sexuality, before finally embracing an identity that is Pakistani, Canadian and queer.

Cary Rajinder Sawhney

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Arshad Khan, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Trailer

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