What would make Netflix really valuable in Pakistan... is more Pakistani content, like all the films and documentaries we couldn't catch in cinemas or festival screenings, for instance
What would make Netflix really valuable in Pakistan... is more Pakistani content, like all the films and documentaries we couldn't catch in cinemas or festival screenings, for instance

Netflix has come to Pakistan, and rejoicing appears to be the knee-jerk reaction to its arrival.

Its affordable packages (costs vary between $7.99-$11.99) mean that we can now legally stream and watch TV shows and movies that we've been torrenting with a fury (provided we have a smart TV, gaming console, BluRay device or similar).

But what would make Netflix really valuable in Pakistan... is more Pakistani content, like all the films and documentaries we couldn't catch in cinemas or festival screenings, for instance.

At present, Na Maloom Afraad and Zinda Bhaag are available on Netflix. But there are so many other films that Netflix could stream, like...

Anima State

A masked man is on a killing spree, and no one cares until he offers to end his life on live TV. London-based filmmaker Hammad Khan skewers life and society in modern-day Pakistan in Anima State, which never made it to cinema screens (no surprises there) but became a cult favourite. It continues to travel the film festival circuit all over the world. At present, if you've missed its screening at T2F last year, then you'll just have to twiddle your thumbs till the next film festival screening.

Slackistan

Hammed Khan's earlier film Slackistan is considered lighter fare. Following the lives of 20-somethings in Islamabad, the film's mention of several unmentionables (from alcohol to lesbianism) blocked its route to the box office. Also a cult favourite, it could enjoy a greater audience in Pakistan.

Zibahkhana

Teenagers stranded in the rural outskirts of Lahore/Islamabad become the target of the gory designs of Omar Ali Khan's burka-donning, flail-whirling killer in Zibahkhana. This Texas Chainsaw Massacre-inspired slasher flick is available on DVD, but its presence on Netflix means your Saturday night horror movie plans will be sorted more easily.

Shoaib Mansoor

While we wait for his mystery project, we could refresh our memory of Shoaib Mansoor's earlier gems, Khuda Ke Liye and Bol. Happily.

Waar

If you haven't seen Waar, the first of the unending series of testosterone-fuelled action flicks coming from Pakistan, you're missing a big part of the conversation.

2015's big hits

Producers would be wrong to think that everyone has seen the recent blockbusters from Pakistan. All the 2015 hits we'd like to obsessive-compulsively watch, from Manto and Moor to Jawani Phir Nahi Ani and Karachi Se Lahore should be available on Netflix soon, we say! DVD is a dying medium, so it makes greater sense for these films to be accessible on Netflix for viewers who want to see it from the comfort of their home.

For documentary buffs

While Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy picks up accolade after accolade for her documentary work, few people in Pakistan have seen her work. This is true of a lot of documentary work, from Beyond The Heights (that charts Samina Baig's challenging mountaineering journey) to Among The Believers (that goes behind the doors of Islamabad's Lal Masjid).

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