Pakistani-American actor Faran Tahir disappointed over ban of film I'll Meet You There in Pakistan

Pakistani-American actor Faran Tahir disappointed over ban of film I'll Meet You There in Pakistan

The film was rejected by Pakistan’s censor boards a week before its release for promoting a “negative image of Muslims."
04 Apr, 2022

Pakistani-American director Iram Parveen Bilal’s film I’ll Meet You There starring Pakistani-American actor Faran Tahir, Muhammed Qavi Khan and Nikita Tewani was banned by Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) a week prior to its scheduled release in cinemas. Tahir expressed his disappointment over the matter and claimed content that encourages dialogue is being discouraged.

"For the past several weeks, I have been trying to make sense of why I’ll Meet You There, a movie we were hoping to have released in Pakistan, was banned. Our sadness stems from the fact that our only intention was to share our work with our fellow Pakistanis. Pakistan has under 250 movie theatres in total. Had the movie released in Pakistan, it would have probably opened in a handful of cinemas so it was never about making money," the Iron Man actor captioned the post. He added that the "only hope" was to "draw attention to the issues Pakistanis face on daily basis living in foreign lands."

The Star Trek actor said that the movie does not slander any of our core values but does encourage dialogue on certain issues. "The message of the film is to find love, understanding, tolerance and respect. The very values that we have been guided by our Creator," he added.

Tahir mentioned how some of the domestic content "pushes boundaries of imagination and our values" but is accepted completely, terming it "disheartening and saddening." In comparison, the actor feels like they're being sent a message to avoid questioning or discussing issues that might encourage dialogue. "VERY DISAPPOINTING…." he concluded.

The CBFC had stopped the film's premiere in Pakistan last month because it believed the film “does not reflect true Pakistani culture, portrays a negative image of Muslims” and is against the “social and cultural values of Pakistan.”

In a statement to Variety at the time, director Bilal responded, “I respectfully disagree that there is just one notion of what Pakistan and Pakistani values are. When we ask the diaspora to contribute and donate, when we even care to enable them to vote in elections, then we should also include their troubles, identity struggles and issues as ‘Pakistani.’"

The filmmaker encouraged people to be more openminded and let artists do their job which is to inspire. "Let’s please end the elitism that a nation or religion can only belong to a select few. Such fearful silencing is not the way forward for a country that is vibrantly developing in population, promise and identity. We as artists have a responsibility to showcase and provoke thought, to inspire and engage with a society that is equally provoking and expanding.”

I’ll Meet You There a story of inter-generational and international immigration conflict that follows a Pakistani-American family living in Chicago. The family includes Majeed (a policeman), his teenage daughter Dua (a gifted ballerina) and Baba, Majeed’s long-estranged father from Pakistan who visits unexpectedly. The film highlights Baba's influence on Majeed's career and Dua's passion for dance.

The movie was nominated for the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Award at the South by Southwest film festival (SXSW) in 2020 before the spread of Covid-19 forced the festival’s cancelation.


Gujjar Apr 04, 2022 02:36pm
Please don't show your ABCD confusions to Pakistanis. We know where we are.
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M. Saeed Apr 04, 2022 02:38pm
Pakistan first for every Pakistani root!
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Ibrahim S Apr 04, 2022 02:39pm
Don’t break the mirror if you don’t like what you see in it.
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MatterOfFact Apr 04, 2022 02:49pm
I have not seen the movie or movie clips. But I agree with the actor that questioning of certain issues should be encouraged. Many Pakistanis hide behind the veil of cultural traditions and norms of the society and deflect main issues from being discussed. Yes, there will always be some boundaries, but people, including government officials, have their own interests behind similar decisions. Not questioning issues that foster negativity is what keeping Pakistan behind other developing countries. We are standing where we were 40 years ago. Yesterday's political drama is an example of self-interests. This country does not have any chance of progressing without dialogue and opening up.
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Shaun Apr 04, 2022 02:55pm
Release it in India, where there is freedom of speech. even The Kashmiri Files is being shown in cinemas.
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Yousaf Apr 04, 2022 04:14pm
It’s worth watching if it was worth banning.
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Saira Khan Apr 04, 2022 04:48pm
@Shaun it is being shown because it is against Muslims. Had it been against Hindus, however…
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Ahmed Apr 04, 2022 05:04pm
Make good movies if you don't want to be banned.
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Aamir Apr 04, 2022 05:27pm
one of these days Pakistan will ban itself..
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Ehsan Apr 04, 2022 06:50pm
Insecure country
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John Cool Apr 04, 2022 10:44pm
Why are Pakistanis so insecure?
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TTA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TTP Apr 05, 2022 03:17am
Just put it on Netflix.... Everyone will watch.
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TTA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TTP Apr 05, 2022 03:18am
@MatterOfFact yeah but just once, a movie showing the better side of Pakistan.
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TTA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TTP Apr 05, 2022 03:19am
@Ehsan No country is very secure, it's the unprofessional censors in charge....
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Uyghyr ahmadi Apr 05, 2022 07:11am
We can’t control the problem identified in the movie, so we will just ban it. We are ostrich force.
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Syed Hasni Apr 05, 2022 02:48pm
Faran, on this occasion the GI Jane joke is warranted-cannot wait to see it.
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Ed Apr 07, 2022 07:22am
Why do you guys act in movies that reflects negativity? Why not promote positivity?!
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