Qavi Khan-Farhan Tahir starrer film gets banned in Pakistan for controversial content

The internationally acclaimed film, I’ll Meet You There, has been banned by the Central Board of Film Censors of Pakistan (CBFC) for not displaying a true image of Pakistani and Muslim cultures.

Veteran actor Qavi Khan and Pakistan-British actor, Farhan Tahir, who got famed for Iron Man are starring in the film.

The film was released in 2021 worldwide and it was set to release in Pakistan. However, CBFC did not issue a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) to the film.

While talking to The Express Tribune, the Senior officer said, “I’ll Meet You There was reviewed by the full board of CBFC, and after watching it was decided that the film is not suitable to be given NOC for a release in the country. There were several controversial topics and details that opposed our policy. The board unanimously agreed on a ban.

The director of the film, Iram Parveen Bilal has recently given an interview to The Variety, and said in response, “I’ve been mulling over the decision by the Central Board of Film Censors, calling our film I’ll Meet You There a ‘negative image of Muslims.’ A film that was made with blood, sweat, and tears by a Muslim, financed by Muslims, and made in the face of a post 9/11 world and a Trump presidency; a film whose very purpose was to combat Islamophobia and to create a positive portrayal of Muslims. A film already released abroad and celebrated widely by the Muslim Pakistani diaspora and seen as a needed and humanised representation of our people. How could that intention be reframed so oppositely and so negatively?”

Tahir has also shown disappointment over the banning of the film. He emphasised that Pakistanis living abroad are labeled as ‘‘not reflecting true Pakistani culture.’ They represent their country with pride and love however our own people hurt us.

He said, “It is disheartening, disappointing, and shameful that issues that Pakistani ex-pats face in their lives are trivialized and labeled as ‘not reflecting true Pakistani culture.’ We, Pakistanis, represent our country with love and pride every day while living in foreign lands. We do this to support our families and loved ones. We do this to support our country financially and in every other way. We do this with nothing but love for our country and yet to be cast aside by our very own is deeply hurtful.

The film portrays a modern and moving portrait of three generations of a Muslim-American family. Farhan Tahir is playing the character of a cop, Majeed, and his teenage daughter, Dua who is portraying the role of a gifted ballerina. Their life changes when Majeed’s father unexpectedly visited their home from Pakistan.

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