A walnut tree: Glimpse of ‘paralysed’ lives of FATA’s displaced

Documentary about internally displaced people screened at French Embassy


Our Correspondent December 01, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: People who were displaced by the terrorism in the federally administered tribal areas (Fata) felt that their lives were ‘paralysed’ the day they had to abandon their homes.

This was showcased in a feature-length documentary, ‘A Walnut Tree’, by film-maker Ammar Aziz. The  haunting 81-minute-long documentary was screened at the French Embassy on Thursday.

The film focuses on the life of a school teacher who had to migrate from his native area in Fata to a temporary camp and the agony he and his family go through.

The teacher tells the viewers how the life of his family was ‘paralysed’ from the day they had to leave their home.

“Everyone here has a story to tell” he says while sitting in his tent.

He describes the life in his village where people used to enjoy music and other festivities before the area fell prey to militancy.

Gradually the militants banned all cultural activities and started killing people.

Narrating how his entire village fled. In one instance, the teacher described how a boy was carrying his disabled girl. When the boy could no longer carry her, the girl asked her brother kill her. The brother reluctantly obliged.

After a while, his family is asked to move to another shelter. However, he and his family refused, preferring to go back to their village

The teacher leaves for his village soon after, adding to the misery of his family. The teacher’s son decides to go look for his father and bring him back. They finally reach the village but fail to find him.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2016.

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