Kala Pul: Portraying Karachi's Dark Reality
By A.H. Cemendtaur

Filmmaker Saqib Mausoof believes his work 'Kala Pul' is one of the few movies made on the violent Karachi of today. 

Mausoof calls Kala Pul belonging to the film noir genre of cinema -- the film starts with a murder and ends with simultaneous deaths of most of the prominent characters, including the protagonist. 

Opening up with a scene of a slow moving train passing, amid littered tracks, under Karachi's Kala Pul, while a mosque calls the faithful for prayers and a man running for his life is finally caught and shot in the head, Kala Pul tries to cover a lot of contentious issues: inequality in the Pakistani society, confusion of ordinary Pakistanis about their true identity (the hard choice to either adopt progressive but alien Western values or live with the regressive values of their own religious leaders), and violence associated with politics and religion in Pakistan. 

Abridged from a full length screenplay 'Kala Pul' ends rather quickly (in 44 minutes) and leaves the audience with a lot of  what-message-was-being-conveyed-in-that-scene and why-did-she-say-that types of questions. 

Kala Pul produced by Muder Kothari and shot by Markus Huersch features Munawar Saeed, Salim Iqbal, Ayesha Toor, and Ashok Malani, besides others. 

On May 8, Kala Pul was screened at the Pakistani American Cultural Center (PACC) in San Jose.  After the screening, Saqib Mausoof answered audience's questions related to his experiences in making the film. 

Kala Pul can now be downloaded from Amazon dot com.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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