Mehwish Hayat’s speech at a peace event in Norway has been trending on social media, and for all the right reasons.
Talking about the impact of cinema, the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz awardee — who was also given Pride of Performance by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the event — said, “Our neighbours have one of the largest film industries in the world and in a time they could have used this power to bring us together, what to they do? They make countless films showing Pakistanis as villains.”
Bollywood could have used cinema to promote mutual understanding instead of vilifying us as they do. They need to decide which is more important – nationalistic fervour or a peaceful future . pic.twitter.com/EzcK4L0zWD
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) August 11, 2019
“I understand that given our history and the politics of the region, it is very difficult to be neutral. And being so can be seen as being unpatriotic. However, if we want to have any semblance of peace, for furture generations, we as artists have to see beyond nationalism and take a stand.”
Mehwish then went on to suggest how the Pakistani film industry can bring about change. “Through our films, we can present a more nuanced picture of our country across to international audiences. We have been too focused on our own audience. May be we should start making films about Pakistan and not for Pakistan,” she added.
Can’t say we disagree with her!