Christmas in Mulhapar
By Paolo Poloni
Documentary – TV
58 min – Schweiz 2013
"Christmas in Mulhapar" is the portrait of a village in Pakistan’s Punjab region. 600 Muslims and 200 Christians live peacefully together in this village – or so it seems – something one would not expect to find in this country.
It is December, Christmas is approaching. Fog lies over the village. The children go to school, the adults to work - in the rice and wheat fields, on construction sites, in the brickworks. But most of them stay at home and sew footballs together - for Adidas or Puma - or they polish surgical instruments for Europe.
The Christians are preparing for their most important celebration. Rani and George Massih and their family of six, the main characters in our Christmas story, are also getting ready for the festivities.
They want the Christmas celebration to be lavish. Relatives should be invited and given gifts. But Rani and George have no money. They have the lowliest of all jobs – they clean the houses of the rich Muslim villagers. They will have to borrow money from their employers in order to pay for all the costs of the Christmas celebration, although they still owe these people money from the previous year.
The film tells the story of their life as Christians in a Muslim village, the stress and strain of their everyday life, their plans and dreams. Rani’s greatest worry is how to marry off their daughter, Madhia, but it will cost too much. And what will become of Saoud, their 14-year-old son? Should he continue to go to school or should he work in the factory, where he’ll learn to sharpen scalpels?
Just as in all of Pakistan, the Christians in Mulhapar are the poorest class amongst the population.
Beginning with our Christian characters, the film evolves as it widens its focus to encompass the village as a whole and the Muslims there, thus developing the overall picture of a village community in a country standing at the centre of world events, a stronghold of religious intolerance and terror. Mulhapar - a microcosm set against the background of world history.
|Languages:||Punjabi, Urdu, English|
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