A Moving Film about Young Pakistani Runaways in a Boys' Home
These Birds Walk was very well-received at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. Some members of the audience were actually crying at the end of the film. This loving filmed documentary follows young boys – most of whom are runaways – at a boy's home in Karachi, Pakistan. The directors did a beautiful job of creating an emotional film that shows Americans what this sort of poverty is really like. The absence of any Pakistani institutions to take responsibility for these boys' welfare is striking to those watching this film through Western eyes. The directors manage to capture some very intimate scenes of the boys that present them in very human ways much like young boys anywhere. It also shows the great piety that they have learned at an early age. The one criticism that can be made of the film is that the cinema verite style provides the audience with little context so that with no narration certain details may be misunderstood. Some context on the nature of poverty, social structure, religion, and government would help those who know little about Pakistan gain a better understanding of what they are seeing. Otherwise, These Birds Walk offers us a powerful window into a faraway and often poorly understood part of the world.
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