Sep 18, 2019
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Front Page, Industry News

Hot Docs’ Daughter of Destiny: Bhutto

TO411 documentary review
by staff writer Daisy Maclean

Scant months after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, one of the handful of female governing leaders to impact world events in the twenty first century, director Duane Baugman found himself and his film crew in the former Prime Minister of Pakistan’s living room in Dubai interviewing her grief stricken family. Determined to understand the person that overcame such impossible odds stacked against her, Baugman has created a captivating, sensitive, and moving portrait of an exceptional woman who became an icon of strength in a country that believes women are second-class and honour killings are legal. 

The Hot Docs Festival opens today and Bhutto is one of the gems that will be making its international debut here in Toronto. The documentary follows not only the life of Benzanir Bhutto, but key moments in Pakistan’s history, unraveling for us the complex path of both in a visually stunning array of graphics, rare archival footage, and recent interviews. 

Born into a family that mourned her gender as first born, Benazir was later handpicked over her brothers by her father, the former political leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to carry on his legacy when he was overthrown and executed in a military coup by his appointed Army Chief, General Zia ul-Huq. Following political imprisonment, Benazir dedicated her life to avenging his death and restoring democracy to Pakistan, becoming the first elected female Prime Minister of a Muslim state, as well as the youngest in the world, at the age of 35. 

In spite of this achievement, her first term in office only lasted 20 months before she was overthrown. During this time, Bhutto struggled with a military that refused to acknowledge the authority of a woman. In 1993, as a more experienced woman and politician, Bhutto returned to office for a second term. In a time when the Taliban was gaining power, and Islam was becoming more fundamentalist, Benazir managed to instigate landmark policies for women in Pakistan, developing women’s police stations, courts and banks. Despite these achievements, Benazir is not considered a feminist by everyone; her consent to an arranged marriage, her lack of policy concerning women’s welfare services, and her position on abortion, are just a few of the contradictions within this extraordinary woman’s career.

The end of Bhutto’s second term in office resulted in further allegations of corruption, 11 years of imprisonment for her husband and her own self-imposed exile from Pakistan. But eight years later, knowing full well the dangers she was putting herself in, Bhutto returned to Pakistan for a third election. She was assassinated by both bullet and suicide bomb in an incident that remains unsolved to this day.

In a time when the political situation in the middle east seems to be increasingly confusing, the documentary Bhutto lays out a clear explanation of events for audiences, raising some pertinent questions about one of the worlds most controversial countries. Benazir’s life was one of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and sacrifice, but director Baugman discovered a side of the story he didn’t expect: “Benazir’s story wasn’t as much about a death-too-soon as it was about what we accomplish while we’re here. What would you do? Rest in comfort as she could’ve or go back and fight?”

****

Bhutto will be premiering on Sat May 1st at The 2010 Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, with another showing on Tuesday, May 4th.

For more information click here.

Daisy Maclean will review recently completed documentaries for TO411 Daily – please contact her for more information: daisy@to411.com. 

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Front Page, Industry News

Hot Docs’ Daughter of Destiny: Bhutto

TO411 documentary review
by staff writer Daisy Maclean

Scant months after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, one of the handful of female governing leaders to impact world events in the twenty first century, director Duane Baugman found himself and his film crew in the former Prime Minister of Pakistan’s living room in Dubai interviewing her grief stricken family. Determined to understand the person that overcame such impossible odds stacked against her, Baugman has created a captivating, sensitive, and moving portrait of an exceptional woman who became an icon of strength in a country that believes women are second-class and honour killings are legal. 

The Hot Docs Festival opens today and Bhutto is one of the gems that will be making its international debut here in Toronto. The documentary follows not only the life of Benzanir Bhutto, but key moments in Pakistan’s history, unraveling for us the complex path of both in a visually stunning array of graphics, rare archival footage, and recent interviews. 

Born into a family that mourned her gender as first born, Benazir was later handpicked over her brothers by her father, the former political leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to carry on his legacy when he was overthrown and executed in a military coup by his appointed Army Chief, General Zia ul-Huq. Following political imprisonment, Benazir dedicated her life to avenging his death and restoring democracy to Pakistan, becoming the first elected female Prime Minister of a Muslim state, as well as the youngest in the world, at the age of 35. 

In spite of this achievement, her first term in office only lasted 20 months before she was overthrown. During this time, Bhutto struggled with a military that refused to acknowledge the authority of a woman. In 1993, as a more experienced woman and politician, Bhutto returned to office for a second term. In a time when the Taliban was gaining power, and Islam was becoming more fundamentalist, Benazir managed to instigate landmark policies for women in Pakistan, developing women’s police stations, courts and banks. Despite these achievements, Benazir is not considered a feminist by everyone; her consent to an arranged marriage, her lack of policy concerning women’s welfare services, and her position on abortion, are just a few of the contradictions within this extraordinary woman’s career.

The end of Bhutto’s second term in office resulted in further allegations of corruption, 11 years of imprisonment for her husband and her own self-imposed exile from Pakistan. But eight years later, knowing full well the dangers she was putting herself in, Bhutto returned to Pakistan for a third election. She was assassinated by both bullet and suicide bomb in an incident that remains unsolved to this day.

In a time when the political situation in the middle east seems to be increasingly confusing, the documentary Bhutto lays out a clear explanation of events for audiences, raising some pertinent questions about one of the worlds most controversial countries. Benazir’s life was one of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and sacrifice, but director Baugman discovered a side of the story he didn’t expect: “Benazir’s story wasn’t as much about a death-too-soon as it was about what we accomplish while we’re here. What would you do? Rest in comfort as she could’ve or go back and fight?”

****

Bhutto will be premiering on Sat May 1st at The 2010 Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, with another showing on Tuesday, May 4th.

For more information click here.

Daisy Maclean will review recently completed documentaries for TO411 Daily – please contact her for more information: daisy@to411.com. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

Hot Docs’ Daughter of Destiny: Bhutto

TO411 documentary review
by staff writer Daisy Maclean

Scant months after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, one of the handful of female governing leaders to impact world events in the twenty first century, director Duane Baugman found himself and his film crew in the former Prime Minister of Pakistan’s living room in Dubai interviewing her grief stricken family. Determined to understand the person that overcame such impossible odds stacked against her, Baugman has created a captivating, sensitive, and moving portrait of an exceptional woman who became an icon of strength in a country that believes women are second-class and honour killings are legal. 

The Hot Docs Festival opens today and Bhutto is one of the gems that will be making its international debut here in Toronto. The documentary follows not only the life of Benzanir Bhutto, but key moments in Pakistan’s history, unraveling for us the complex path of both in a visually stunning array of graphics, rare archival footage, and recent interviews. 

Born into a family that mourned her gender as first born, Benazir was later handpicked over her brothers by her father, the former political leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to carry on his legacy when he was overthrown and executed in a military coup by his appointed Army Chief, General Zia ul-Huq. Following political imprisonment, Benazir dedicated her life to avenging his death and restoring democracy to Pakistan, becoming the first elected female Prime Minister of a Muslim state, as well as the youngest in the world, at the age of 35. 

In spite of this achievement, her first term in office only lasted 20 months before she was overthrown. During this time, Bhutto struggled with a military that refused to acknowledge the authority of a woman. In 1993, as a more experienced woman and politician, Bhutto returned to office for a second term. In a time when the Taliban was gaining power, and Islam was becoming more fundamentalist, Benazir managed to instigate landmark policies for women in Pakistan, developing women’s police stations, courts and banks. Despite these achievements, Benazir is not considered a feminist by everyone; her consent to an arranged marriage, her lack of policy concerning women’s welfare services, and her position on abortion, are just a few of the contradictions within this extraordinary woman’s career.

The end of Bhutto’s second term in office resulted in further allegations of corruption, 11 years of imprisonment for her husband and her own self-imposed exile from Pakistan. But eight years later, knowing full well the dangers she was putting herself in, Bhutto returned to Pakistan for a third election. She was assassinated by both bullet and suicide bomb in an incident that remains unsolved to this day.

In a time when the political situation in the middle east seems to be increasingly confusing, the documentary Bhutto lays out a clear explanation of events for audiences, raising some pertinent questions about one of the worlds most controversial countries. Benazir’s life was one of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and sacrifice, but director Baugman discovered a side of the story he didn’t expect: “Benazir’s story wasn’t as much about a death-too-soon as it was about what we accomplish while we’re here. What would you do? Rest in comfort as she could’ve or go back and fight?”

****

Bhutto will be premiering on Sat May 1st at The 2010 Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, with another showing on Tuesday, May 4th.

For more information click here.

Daisy Maclean will review recently completed documentaries for TO411 Daily – please contact her for more information: daisy@to411.com. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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