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Bhutto (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Bhutto -- This is a documentary about Benazir Bhutto. Following in her father's footsteps as a pillar for democracy, Bhutto was expected to dominate Pakistan's 2008 elections but the assassination sent Pakistan politics into turmoil.


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Writer (WGA):
Johnny O'Hara (written by)
View company contact information for Bhutto on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
November 2010 (USA) See more »
You can't murder a legacy.
A riveting documentary of the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, a polarizing figure in the Muslim world... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(33 articles)
User Reviews:
Maybe Benazir's Mission was Doomed See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari ... Herself
Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari ... Himself
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari ... Himself
Asif Ali Zardari ... Himself (as President Asif Ali Zardari)
Sanam Bhutto ... Herself (as Sanam 'Sunny' Bhutto)
Victoria Schofield ... Herself
Mark Siegel ... Himself
Tariq Ali ... Himself
Steve Coll ... Himself
Ahmed Ispahani ... Himself
Akbar Ahmed ... Himself
Peter Galbraith ... Himself
Christina Lamb ... Herself

Condoleezza Rice ... Herself
Feroz Hassan Khan ... Himself
Husain Haqqani ... Himself
John Burns ... Himself
Fatima Bhutto ... Herself
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend ... Herself
Khurram Dastgir-Khan ... Himself
Pervez Musharraf ... Himself
Rehman Malik ... Himself
Wajid Shamsul Hasan ... Himself

Reza Aslan ... Himself
Amy Wilentz ... Herself

Arianna Huffington ... Herself
Ibrahim Malick ... Himself
Shuja Nawaz ... Himself
Sadia Abbas ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Benazir Bhutto ... Herself (archive footage)

David Frost ... Himself
Rene Delacruz ... Asif Ali Zadari (uncredited)
Rachael Farrokh ... Nusrat Bhutto (uncredited)

Iyad Hajjaj ... Lead Prison Police (uncredited)

Eliezer Ortiz ... Pakistani Soldier (uncredited)

Directed by
Duane Baughman 
Johnny O'Hara 
Writing credits
Johnny O'Hara (written by)

Produced by
Marc Ambrose .... line producer
Glenn Aveni .... executive producer
Pamela S. Aveni .... supervising producer
Duane Baughman .... producer
Amy Berg .... producer
Melinda Cardwell .... supervising producer
Karen Crary .... supervising producer
Darius Fisher .... co-producer
Pamela B. Green .... co-producer
Mariam Mukaty .... co-producer
Katie O'Conor .... associate producer
Mark Siegel .... producer
Arleen Sorkin .... producer
Original Music by
Herb Graham Jr. 
Cinematography by
Noel Donnellon 
James Mulryan  (as Jim Mulryan)
David Ethan Sanders 
Jens Schlosser 
Film Editing by
Jessica Hernández 
Production Management
Katie O'Conor .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Roberto Cappannelli .... sound re-recording mixer
Robert Dehn .... sound studio manager
Jason Gaya .... sound re-recording mixer
Robin Gerrard .... sound recordist: UK
Robert Hoehn .... sound designer
Steven Iba .... sound effects editor
Giles Khan .... sound mixer
John Osborne .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Esteban Arguello .... post production coordinator
Judi Lewinson .... motion graphics artist
Cafe Noir .... animator: Pic Agency
Neal Sickles .... motion graphics artist
Sean Wehrli .... main title designer & animator: Pic Agency
Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Jaymes .... additional cinematographer
Erin Olesen .... first assistant camera (as Erin Endow)
Editorial Department
Esteban Arguello .... additional editor
Iram Parveen Bilal .... assistant editor
Paul Birmele .... first assistant editor
Colin Davis .... assistant editor
Adam Hain .... post-production assistant
Michael Horwitz .... additional editor
Jochen Kunstler .... assistant editor
Billy McMillin .... additional editor
Neal Sickles .... assistant editor
Bari Winter .... assistant editor
Music Department
Robert Hoehn .... music editor
Mike Meeker .... music supervisor
Derek Power .... executive music producer
Anthony B. Willis .... composer: additional music
Other crew
Iram Parveen Bilal .... production assistant
Lisa Callif .... clearance counsel
Melinda Cardwell .... executive production assistant
Nora Donaghy .... production coordinator
Michael Donaldson .... clearance counsel
Gregory Fleming .... technical consultant
Christopher L. Perez .... clearance counsel
Andrew Promey .... assistant production coordinator
Andrew Raymond .... production assistant
Rakesh Singh .... production coordinator: india
Claire Tailyour .... researcher (as Claire Sullivan-Tailyour)
Melanie Franciosi .... special thanks
Ilene Kahn Power .... special thanks
Nanda Rao .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
111 min

Did You Know?

The first cut of the film, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, listed Johnny O'Hara and Jessica Hernández as directors. Subsequent versions list the directors as Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara.See more »


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Maybe Benazir's Mission was Doomed, 8 January 2014

I've always been fascinated by Benazir Bhutto. It's hard not to be. She was certainly stunningly beautiful. But it's more than that with Bhutto. She was a woman who was elected prime minister of an officially Islamic nation. You could read her calculating intelligence and her steely determination on her exquisitely beautiful face. You can also read there the great tragedy that stalked her family, and her nation.

Bhutto also gave off an air of idealism. Bhutto believed in something bigger than herself, something for which she was willing to sacrifice her life. Sacrifice she did – Bhutto endured prison, and returned to Pakistan from exile knowing the nation she loved so much would probably kill her. It did. But there's great complexity in Bhutto's life, as well. She did some things that were not at all admirable. Her own niece accuses her of murder.

The talking heads in this documentary compare the Bhutto family saga to a Shakespearean plot or a Greek tragedy. It's actually more high opera. Benazir Bhutto was a great beauty who renounced a personal life so she could pursue politics. She realized she would need a man to get over in a Muslim country, so she submitted to an arranged marriage with a very handsome playboy polo player. Bhutto stated publicly that were she not a woman politician in a Muslim country, she would not have submitted to an arranged marriage. Muslim norms prevented her from meeting a man she might fall in love with on her own. As in an opera, she fell in love with the husband her mother picked out for her. Some say he betrayed her by accepting graft; others say this is a political smear.

"Bhutto" the documentary certainly presents the drama of Bhutto's life. Talking heads include her personal friends, her husband, her children, her sister, and her niece. Her friends speak of Bhutto in the most glowing of terms. Exactly because this is the realm of politics, one cannot take anything that anyone on screen says at face value. One thing I wish this documentary had offered was a reliable navigator, an authoritative voice helping me to sort politically expedient comments from solid facts.

The film does provide contradictory voices on the question of corruption. A New York Times reporter insists on the accuracy of the Times' charges of the Bhutto family's corruption. Bhutto's friend insists that her lifestyle was not that of someone with the alleged unlimited funds. Another friend points out that Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto's husband, was kept in prison but never convicted.

There's a lot of tragic and regrettable history up on the screen. Pakistan gets a nuclear bomb, fights wars with Bangladesh and India, supports the Taliban, hosts Osama bin Laden. The Bhutto family is depleted by one assassination after another. Benazir keeps trying to get and keep power in Pakistan. Her friends insist that this is so she can build schools, end polio, and provide clean water. Bhutto had other noble goals. She wanted to avenge her father's assassination. She stated that "Democracy is the best revenge." She wanted to serve as a liberatory example to women and girls – while maintaining a public, feminine, nurturing face. She wanted to reconcile Islam and the West, to prove that Islam and democracy are compatible.

The documentary does not linger on horrific aspects of the Bhutto legacy. The Bhuttos, father and daughter, made sure Pakistan developed nuclear weapons and shared that technology with North Korea. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was president of Pakistan during the war with Bangladesh, a war that included massive human rights violations so severe some labeled them "genocide." Bhutto declared Ahmadis "non-Muslims." There was deadly persecution of Ahmadis in 1974, under Bhutto. Benazir Bhutto recognized the Taliban in Afghanistan. She didn't repeal the hudood ordinances.

Pakistan has lots of problems, problems the United States didn't cause. The talking heads in "Bhutto" insist that America's eagerness to stem the spread of communism screwed up Pakistan. But the US was involved in Poland during the Cold War, and Poland did not turn into a country where any prominent person, from Benazir Bhutto to a schoolgirl who just wants to learn to read – Malala Yousafzai – risks assassination.

America didn't cause the huge gap in literacy in Pakistan between women and men. It doesn't promote child marriage or hatred of Ahmadis and Christians. Benazir Bhutto tried to open schools and end polio. Pakistan's schools are now "ghosts" that take government funds and education no one. Polio workers are shot by Muslims who insist that the polio vaccine is an American plot to sterilize Muslims.

Concerned observers often point out that India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were all created at the same time from the same raw material: the former British subcontinental empire. India is doing relatively well. Pakistan is floundering. Why? One possible explanation frequently offered by geopolitical observers. Pakistan was founded as an Islamic state. Bhutto is shown taking the oath of office; she must swear that she is a Muslim in order to do so. Maybe Pakistan would be better off if it had not been founded on Islam. Maybe Pakistan would be better off if it were a secular state.

Maybe Benazir Bhutto, for all her intelligence, was on a doomed mission. Maybe Pakistan as it exists today is not reformable. Maybe it would take an Ataturk, a Mao, or an Ann Coulter (invade their countries, kill their leaders, convert them) to make Pakistan a place where democratically elected leaders who improve their citizens' lives can peacefully hand over power to a succession of other democratically elected leaders, all of whom die peacefully in their sleep.

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