New York-based film-maker and painter Mumtaz Hussain recently received an award for his script, The Kind Executioner at the Hollywood Screenplay Contest. The event was held on November 2 in Los Angeles.
The script looks into the relationship between former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his executioner Tara Masih. When asked why he focused on such a subject, he told The Express Tribune, “My political awareness was growing during that time. Some of the most important days of my life were spent in Pakistan at a time when religious fanaticism was spreading across the country, crushing the liberal element. On the international front, the Cold War was in full force between the United States and Russia, making Afghanistan and Pakistan its battleground. The circumstances around me were absorbed in my mind while growing-up.”
“Because I witnessed a major change in that affects the Western world to this day, I want to share my experiences through this screenplay. The screenplay is based on the true story of former Pakistani Prime Minister ZA Bhutto, who was executed by the military dictator Zia ul Haq. The story sheds light on the relationship between the Prime Minister and his hangman, a man who believed Bhutto to be the saviour of the nation,” he added.
According to Hussain, the screenplay was also submitted to the Berlin Film Festival, the results of which have not been announced so far. He also mentions discussing the script with Hollywood actors and execs, but nothing is finalised so far. If turned into a movie, it will definitely be one to watch out for!
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2013.