KARACHI: Among the Believers, a documentary featuring the Red Mosque in Islamabad, has emerged as one of the biggest hits at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
In this documentary film, directors Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi take viewers through the recent history of the country’s ideological clash between moderate and fundamentalist forces.
The first scene shows a young boy delivering a sermon. He is one of many young boys who are being trained to devote their lives to the ‘holy war’.
Among the Believers gives viewers a firsthand insight into the life of Maulana Abdul Aziz, known to be the head of the chain of madrassas led by Islamabad’s Lal Masjid.
It further highlights the major issues at hand by providing up-close access to Aziz, his longtime opponent – education reformer Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy – and school-children Talha and Zarina.
PHOTO: Tribeca Film Institute
Talha and Zarina are shown as following two different educational paths in the religious and secular systems. Both the twelve-year-olds pursue different dreams. As Zarina attends school and avoids marriage, Talha attends the madrassa as he prepares for ‘Holy war’.
Termed by the Tribeca Film Festival as ‘intimate and brutally honest’, the documentary provides a rare insight into the ideological battle shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world.
Praise for the documentary made rounds on social media.