Pakistan’s film industry got started around 1930 and enjoyed its heyday following independence in 1947. By the early 1970s, the country was the fourth largest producer of films in the world. But with increasing Islamization and censorship in the period that followed, the quantity and quality of output declined sharply. It’s only in the past few years that Pakistan’s film industry has witnessed something of a resurgence. And while there’s talk of a return to the glory days, in fact most of the newcomers have studied abroad and have worked primarily in TV, with the result that they’re now making very different kinds of films.
Director Basir Mahmood interviewed countless actors, filmmakers and writers who used to work on film sets in Lahore. Their recollections form the basis of a fragmentary script, with scenes from films being reenacted without dialogue or context, which lends them a certain symbolic quality. More than the actual content of the memories, these tableaux vivants convey something about the fragility of memory and the way in which we recall the past.