Joyland cleared for cinema screenings in Pakistan

Joyland, the Pakistani film portraying a romance between a married man and a transgender woman was cleared for cinema screenings in Pakistan Wednesday, reversing a ban imposed on filmgoers by the nation’s censors.

Loved by critics and audiences alike, Joyland was nominated for the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival and is expected to be Pakistan’s entry at next year’s Academy Awards. Joyland is set to open in cinemas across Pakistan this Friday.

Pakistan’s decrepit Islamist hardliners – harder than ever at the mere thought of the film’s content – lost all self-control at the racy subject matter. Under pressure from the grey beards, Pakistan’s information ministry last week declared the film…

“Repugnant to the norms of decency and morality.”

The censors duly complied and reviewed the film. Joyland was cleared for cinema screenings late on Wednesday, when Muhammad Tahir Hassan, head of the Central Board of Film Censors, declared that…

“There is no hindrance from the board for its screening. The distributors can screen the film from tomorrow morning if they wish.”

Joyland cleared for cinema screenings in Pakistan | News by Thaiger
On yer bike, hardliners!

The rights of the transgender community are ostensibly enshrined in Pakistani law. However, the prehistoric attitudes of so-called “hardliners” mean transgender citizens are forced to live on the fringes of society, often forced to resort to begging or sex work to survive. What flimsy legal protection they do enjoy is forever under attack by the unbridled imaginations of insecure old men who take every opportunity to mishandle anyone and anything they fear.

Human rights activists expressed their joy on social media following the news. Amnesty International said the overturn of the ban was…

“Part of a deep-rooted and persistent pushback to ensuring their equal place in society.”


Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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