This review of Moor by S Akbar Zaidi was originally published here
Given Pakistan’s current political situation, for those who thought that a film based in Balochistan would be the Pakistani version of Haider, watching Moor, would have come as a huge disappointment. If nothing else, one hopes that they would have returned home from the movie with a lesson in Balochistan’s geography and demography. At least thirty percent of Balochistan cites Pashto as its mother tongue, possibly more now with the influx of Afghans and other Pashtuns. Perhaps for those who have a sense of history, they may have been reminded of what the great Baloch nationalists of the 1970s and 1980s also said, that they had no ‘objection’ to the province of Balochistan being split into two, with Balochistan’s Pashtun areas becoming part of what was once called the North West Frontier Province.
Moor is about this less-imagined part of Balochistan. By focusing on the Pashtuns of Balochistan, the movie makes an important distinction not only between the larger communities within Balochistan, but also dispels the stereotypes of all Pashtuns making a case that Balochistan’s Pashtuns are different from, but as real as, those from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This in itself, is a hugely important socio-political contribution of Moor. Continue reading