Mandwa Film Club: Yousaf Khan Sherbano graces Lok Virsa

The Pashto film, released in 1970, was the first of its kind and is considered a timeless classic by film enthusiasts


Mariam Shafqat September 20, 2015
The film club, inaugurated on Aug 2, has been screening local classics on Saturday and English classics on Sunday every week. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The first ever Pashto film, Yousaf Khan Sherbano, was screened at the open air theatre in Lok Virsa as a part of the Mandwa Film Club.

The film screening coincided with Qissa Khwani Bazaar festival offering a glimpse of crafts and food from Peshawar.

Known as the first ever Pashto film released in December 1970, several renditions of the story of Yousaf Khan Sherbano have been part of Pukhtun folklore for many generations.

The film, produced by Nazir Hussain and directed by Aziz Tabbasum, was a well-acclaimed super hit of its time. Badar Munir and Yasmin Khan played the lead roles in the movie.

According to Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed, Mandwa has so far screened classic movies like Heer Ranjha, Kartar Singh, Arman and Andaleeb.

Speaking about the movie, Saeed said other than being a timeless classic, one of the distinctive features of this movie is its music which was composed by Lal Muhammad and Buland Iqbal.

“Interestingly, they were not Pukthun, they belonged to Delhi and had earlier composed music for several Hindi and Bengali movies,” she said.

“So in a way this movie also represents a pluralistic culture back then and serves as a testament to the fact that music has no language or boundary,” Saeed added.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Saeed said enthusiasm has remained steady so far as around two to three hundred people show up every time when a movie is screened.

“Anyone can get a DVD and watch the same movie at their home, but that can never compete with the ‘Mandwa’ experience,” she claimed.

Saeed said the film club is also an attempt to break barriers and create comfortable space for families and especially for women.

The film club, inaugurated on August 2, has been screening a local classic movie on Saturday and an English classic on Sunday every week.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st,  2015.

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