Directed by Saim Sadiq (Pakistan, 2022, 126 min.). Urdu and Punjabi with English subtitles.
Since premiering and winning the Jury Prize in the 2022 Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival (the first film from the Indian subcontinent to do so), Joyland has moved audiences worldwide with its human portrayal of the limits of love in the face of patriarchy.
Haider rushes his sister-in-law to the hospital, where she gives birth to a girl, devastating the extended family desperate for a baby boy. The brothers’ elderly father is still hopeful Haider and his wife, Mumtaz, despite their unorthodox relationship, will bring them their much-desired male heir. Everything changes, though, when Haider takes a job as a backup dancer at an erotic theater and falls in love with its beautiful transgender star, Biba.
Joyland is both a loving portrait of the people of Lahore, Pakistan, and a painful depiction of how traditional gender roles and repressed sexuality harm all. Showcasing incredible performances and shot with a sharp yet kind eye, this film from feature debut writer-director Saim Sadiq is an unforgettable cinematic experience about how vaguely understood but powerful societal expectations can destroy an individual, relationship, and family.
Synopsis courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival.
With English subtitles