Don’t think ‘Gul Makai’ will get any hatred: director on Malala Yousafzai biopic

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NEW DELHI: Director HE Amjad Khan is confident that his upcoming Malala Yousafzai biopic “Gul Makai” will be resonate with the audiences despite the fact the Nobel laureate hails from Pakistan. Khan said at the core of movie, the issue being discussed is girl child education and Malala is a vocal advocate of the cause.

“Our film is about an academician who is a global icon. She is an advocate of education in the whole world. She talks about girl education and women empowerment. Here we have Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao programme.

“Since both are saying the same thing that the girls should get education, then I think there shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t believe the film will be subjected to any kind of hatred,” Khan told PTI in an interview.

The long-delayed movie, which features actor Reem Shaikh as Malala, will be hitting the theatres countrywide on January 31. Khan said he had completed the movie a while ago but had to postpone the release last year due to tensions between India and Pakistan.

“I had completed the film in 2019. But tensions were high between both the countries. Pulwama happened and then India’s response. Then the country went through this phase where Triple Talaq was banned, Article 370 was abrogated and Ram Mandir judgement came.” The director said there is an environment of “Pakistan hatred” in the country today but he will no longer delay his movie because of it.

“In the last two years, there has been this feeling of hatred towards Pakistan. At the end of the day, though the girl is a Pakistani but still a global icon. She is a Nobel laureate but the common man does not understand this so there was a worry.

“Now it is releasing on January 31. I will not push it further because the situation will remain the same now.” Khan stressed that he had “no sympathy or empathy for Pakistan”. “It is a strange country that spends most part of its finances in funding war. Such a thing is never good for any nation. Our country is also venturing into the same direction.” When asked whether he believes Malala’s comments on the situation in Kashmir in the wake of Article 370 abrogation will hurt the film, the director said her comments were not political.

“On Article 370, Malala had only said that students studying in Kashmir should not be affected. She expressed her concern over the reports that students were not able to go to schools due to situation in the region.

“That is her responsibility as a United Nations representative. She is saying the same thing when it comes to Brazil and South Africa. Her comments were no way political.” The filmmaker hoped that people will be able separate politics from important issues.

“People are more aware today. They are able to go beyond politics and understand such important issues. They know that these are two separate things. I have made a film about Malala but it is about the importance of education.”

“Gul Makai” also features Divya Dutta, Pankaj Tripathi, Atul Kulkarni and Mukesh Rishi in pivotal roles. PTI

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