My Pure Land 15 (S)
Based on an extraordinary true story, director Sarmad Masud’s impressive debut is a tense siege thriller involving a mother and her two daughters who are fighting to protect their home in rural Pakistan.
When a rival family faction - led by their uncle - threatens to take possession of their family home, the women are forced to take up arms in order to protect what is theirs. But when their resistance leaves two of his men dead, the enraged uncle calls in a local ragtag militia - 200 armed bandits, and with only a handful of bullets left, eldest daughter Nazo refuses to give in, picking up machine guns to fight off an army of armed men in order to survive.
Drawing on the best traditions of siege films like Assault on Precinct 13, Masud’s debut is also a politically charged drama with strong feminist undercurrents, as well as a moving family drama that manages to fold gender politics and land rights in rural Pakistan into an engrossing, action-packed shoot-‘em-up. All without ever teetering into exploitation or losing its fundamental sense of humanity.