Islamabad - A public discussion on “issues of body politics, global politics and cross-intra human relationships” was organised in Islamabad by a German political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) during the screening of a movie based on Mohsin Hamid’s novel, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” under its monthly film screening project, “MovieLog.Think-Challenge-Question”.

This monthly event features a variety of national and international movies and documentaries for the audience of - students, professionals and others - and offers a space for discussing diverse issues of everyday life, society and politics. Civil society members, academicians, students and youth activists came to participate in the discussion.  This monthly screening is conducted in cooperation with DAAD - Germany and Centre of Excellence in Gender Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.

Prof. Dr Nukhba Lahnga, Chairperson-Department of English at Forman Christian College Lahore and Prof. Dr Raja Qaiser from Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi were among the panellists. The discussion was moderated by Abdur Rehman from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a political thriller post 9/11 genre. “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” follows the transformations of the wide-eyed Pakistani, who arrives in the US with great professional ambitions. And he accomplishes much before the planes hit the World Trade Centre, a crisis that challenges his materialism, leading him to step back from the many choices he’s made, in his capitalist career and his love life.

Dr Nukhba while giving her feedback about the movie mentioned that the movie’s notable achievements is the manner in which ideology and emotion, politics and the personal are brought together into a vivid picture of an individual’s globalised revolt.

Indeed some argue that the social and political crisis into which Pakistan appears to be sinking ever deeper is at least partly the result of its political class refusing to challenge these un-reluctant fundamentalists, preferring instead to take refuge in crowd-pleasing anti-Americanism.

Speaking to the audience, Dr Andrea Fleschenberg, DAAD’s Long Term Guest Professor at Qaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad said that it is a provocative, ambitious movie about the unconsidered assumptions that power our cultures, for good or ill.

She added that movie is reasonably thoughtful, moderately engaging material dealing with some thorny issues. It may be a catalyst for intelligent conversation, which is more than you can say for most movies.

FES Country Director Philipp Kauppert said that the series of movies screened fortnightly are being restricted only to young women as we find it a unique way to allow females to come in, watch a good movie and take part in healthy debate as due to societal norms, women hardly find opportunities to discuss and debate issues.

Movies range from gender based issue to politics where the environment is created for females from different walks of life to come and discuss the issues.

Audience from multiple backgrounds (university students, civil society activists and media) joined in the screening and discussion.