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The Blood of Hussain (1980)

 -  Drama  -  February 1981 (UK)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 51 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

A dramatic depiction of the life of Hussain, with allegorical references to the history of the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants. It is prophesied that Young Hussain will one day lead ... See full summary »

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Title: The Blood of Hussain (1980)

The Blood of Hussain (1980) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Salmaan Peerzada ...
Hussain Murtaza / Selim (as Salmaan Peer)
Kika Markham ...
Katherine
Durriya Kazi ...
Hussain's Wife
Kabuli Baba ...
Fakir
Mirza Ghazanfar Begg ...
General
Fauzia Zareen ...
General's Wife
Zil-e-Subhan ...
Peasant
Abdul Karim Baloch ...
Akbar (as Saqi)
Jamil Dehlavi ...
Zahid
Mubila ...
Prostitute
Khayyam Sarhadi ...
Policeman
Aliya Begam ...
Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shoaib Hashmi ...
Man at dinner table
Samina Peerzada ...
General's Daughter (as Lisa)
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Storyline

A dramatic depiction of the life of Hussain, with allegorical references to the history of the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants. It is prophesied that Young Hussain will one day lead the impoverished masses to a better life. It is his brother, Hasan, however who gains in prominence and when the government is overthrown in a military coup, he tries to adapt. Hussain in the meanwhile gets married and leads a small band of rebels in an attempt to fight the military dictatorship. Written by Ali Halai <aahalai@home.com>

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

February 1981 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Blood of Hussain  »

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Trivia

The film was banned by the late dictator General Zia-ul-Haque, after he seized power and became president of Pakistan in 1977, as the film portrays a fictional military coup in less than favorable light. The ban has not yet been lifted, and the director lives in exile to date. The film was eventually released and shown on British television. See more »

Quotes

Hussain Murtaza: Your revolution... is a mockery.
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User Reviews

a great achievement for Pakistani cinema!
8 June 2000 | by (Lahore, Pakistan) – See all my reviews

The director is one of the very few Pakistani directors to attempt and achieve intelligent narrative in cinema. I have only seen a couple of other movies by Dehlavi, but i believe that this film is his masterpiece. Of course, it holds greater value for Muslims, or those who are familiar with Islamic history ( or at least the events surrounding the incident at Karbala, which is alluded to in the film as well as in its title ).

The plot deals with a military takeover of Pakistan ( ironically, by the time the filming came to an end around 1977, the late General Zia had imposed Martial Law in Pakistan ) and two brothers who get caught up in the resulting turmoil. One is an aristocrat, married to a British lady ( Kika Markham ) who is having an illicit affair with an army officer. The other sibling is a man of the people, living a simple life among the peasants. He owns land, and is fond of horses. He opposes the military's attempts at taking over the land of his people, while his jet-set brother quietly goes to work for the leader of the regime.

the conflict between the brothers is dealt without the crutches of histrionics, which are a mainstay of Pakistani cinema. other characters and relationships are also dealt with intelligently. symbolism abounds, and the film is deliberately paced. but if you stay with it, the rewards are rich. the film is lensed beautifully, with some unforgettable images throughout. credit also goes to the special effects and make-up departments ( see if you can guess who plays the two brothers, and check out the scene where a sickle slices through a wrist! ).

The film is infamous for being banned in Pakistan by the late General Zia-ul-Haq ( for being anti-Martial Law in theme ), and sadly has remained so since then. Still, it is available on video at better video stores ( Dehlavi was lucky enough to escape to England with the prints, subsequently releasing the film in 1980, with the help of BBC ). If you think that all Pakistani films are full of vulgar dances, ham acting and lousy plotlines, then you have to see this. The only comparison that comes to mind while watching it, is '1984'

Whatever your views about Jamil Dehlavi ( especially in the light of the 'Jinnah' controversy ), don't miss out on this film.

Rating: 8/10


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