Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sundance Films: Bhutto

Title: Bhutto
Director: Jessica Hernández, Johnny O'Hara

Summary: As the first woman to lead an Islamic nation, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's life story unfolds like a tale of Shakespearean dimensions. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, Bhutto evolved from pampered princess to polarizing politician battling tradition and terrorism in the most dangerous country on Earth. Her father, the first democratically elected president of Pakistan, chose Benazir over his eldest son to carry his political mantle. Accused of rampant corruption, imprisoned, then exiled abroad, Bhutto was called back in 2007 as her country’s only hope for democracy. When she was struck down by an assassin, her untimely death sent shock waves throughout the world, transforming Bhutto from political messiah to a martyr in the eyes of the common people. With exclusive interviews from the Bhutto family and never-before-seen footage, filmmakers Jessica Hernandez and Johnny O'Hara have crafted a sweeping epic of a transcendent, yet polarizing, figure whose legacy will be debated for years to come (Sundance).

Thoughts: Biographies of major political figures, especially controversial ones, rarely find wide support, or critical success. So this is cause for concern if you are looking forward to this film. So, depending on the direction this documentary takes, Bhutto could be a great addition to historically based films or it could be a sappy, simplified portrayal of an important figure in modern history. I’m skeptical at the moment, but Sundance usually avoids selecting films with such potential faults- so that may help its cause.

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