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Filmmaker explores Pakistan's blasphemy laws

Arafat Mazhar's new animated short movie is a plea for greater empathy

Filmmaker explores Pakistan's blasphemy laws

'Swipe' shows the real face of interfaith dialogue and the brutal face of social media.

Published: December 14, 2020 09:11 AM GMT

Updated: December 14, 2020 09:12 AM GMT

Arafat Mazhar rejects sensational reviews of his newly released film on Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

“Feel like giving a course to all news platforms outside Pakistan on how NOT to cover conversation on blasphemy laws. @Reuters coverage of @swipefilm is so non-nuanced and insensitive and is now being printed in every next paper in the world,” the filmmaker stated in a recent tweet.

“This is why we need local publications to write and cover a local film which is made for the local community. So if you’re a writer/reviewer who doesn't have a white-savior gaze, please cover/analyze/review Swipe.

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“Also if you interview someone that relates to blasphemy, don't select quotes from the middle. For context of how bad coverage can risk the integrity of film and actual lives, here is what the film has been reduced to by Reuters who took a full 30-minute interview. Even the title is sensationalist.”

Mazhar was referring to Swipe, an animated short story that tells the story of a boy obsessed with iFatwa, an app that crowd-sources religious death sentences.

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