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Pakistani diplomats threaten to ban Malala biopic Gul Makai

The group has argued that the Indian production, which was recently screened by the UN in London, portrays their country in a bad light; film’s director unfazed

Filmmaker Amjad Khan’s Gul Makai, a biopic on Nobel Laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai, was screened by the United Nations in London on January 25. Now, Mirror has learnt that the film has drawn criticism from Pakistani diplomats who were among the audience, including members of the UN, its subsidiary Intergovernmental Institution for use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (which finds a mention in the film) and the Indian and British High Commission.

The diplomats felt that the film portrays Pakistan in a negative light and after the screening, the group met Amjad to convey that they will ban the film in the country. According to a source, present at the event, Gul Makai could face the same opposition that Nandita Das’ recently-released Manto biopic did in Pakistan. “Malala is a global icon and it will be difficult to have the film banned officially. But the government may coerce the distributors into not releasing the film,” the source added.

Amjad is not surprised by the development, pointing out that the Pakistan government hadn’t even acknowledged Malala’s Nobel win. “I have made the film with a lot of honesty but to glorify Lord Krishna, you have to show Kans in a bad light, even though they are a part of one family,” he argued.

When quizzed about reactions from other audience members at the screening, the director said, “The film received a standing ovation, including from the Pakistani delegates. It’s just that they can’t digest the truth.”

Gul Makai is an Indian production that has Reem Shaikh as Malala while Atul Kulkarni and Divya Dutta play her parents, Ziauddin Yousafzai and Toor Pekai. Mukesh Rishi and the late Om Puri also feature in significant roles.

To glorify Lord Krishna, you have to show Kans in a bad light, even though they are a part of one family

–Amjad Khan

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