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Credit: Director/ Co Producer/ Director of Photography

Year of Release: 2017

Acquired by Guardian Documentaries

The life, death and impact of Pakistan’s working-class icon Qandeel Baloch, killed in 2016 after becoming a social media celebrity. This film tells Qandeel’s story through her own videos and media appearances. A young, fearless woman who collided with Pakistan’s mainstream media, Qandeel exposed the religious right and challenged middle-class morality. From her life before stardom in a rural village to her early days in entertainment as a model and actor, Qandeel gained attention by making provocative web videos. We get to know Qandeel through her family, admirers and those she interacted with and inspired. The film also analyses her life through the lens of class and power politics and connects it to women’s continuing struggle for self-expression in Pakistan.

Qandeel Baloch successfully climbed the socio-economic ladder in a country where the class you're born into dictates who you are, what opportunities you'll get, and what you can do. She defied all that and became Pakistan's social media superstar. The press chooses to highlight things that sell, they like to portray working-class women in a certain way. They just never focused on humanizing her. We wanted to tell her story in her own words and through the people that knew her. These first-hand stories are immensely important. They provide correctives to the caricatured version of Qandeel we were so comfortable consuming without giving her any nuance and human agency.  Qandeel opened up a space for women, for the marginalised, for the low-income, for the queers, for the illegitimates of this society. But the struggle continues. Rest in Power, Qandeel (1990-2016) You will never be forgotten.


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