Human Rights Film Festival: ‘Pakistan: No Place Like Home’

‘Pakistan: No Place Like Home’ is a passionate documentary that tells the story of a young man who leaves his village hoping to make a better living abroad.

In the remote Pakistani village of Hakimwala, farmers battle a deadly pest that is ruining their cotton crops. Many are unable to buy the pesticide and face mounting debts. The elders of the village encourage the young men to travel abroad to earn a better pay and help lift the village out of poverty.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sharif has lived in Hakimwala all his life. He is an only son and drives the only car in the village. He is responsible for driving the sick to the city hospital three hours away.
But with the infestation of his cotton crops and rising debts, Sharif decides it is time to seek his fortune elsewhere.

Sharif decides to go to Dubai despite warnings from his friends. The villagers sell the car and his family sells their hard-earned lands to cover his expenses.
 In spite of mounting debts, Sharif is about to learn that there is more to life than money. Or is there?

Syed Owais Ali, a Pakistani student at Northwestern University in Qatar aims to shed light on the plight of migrant workers by documenting Sharif’s story. The film follows Sharif as he leaves Hakimwala, flies in an airplane and enters a foreign land for the first time in his life.

‘Pakistan: No Place Like Home’ was screened at the United Nations Information Centre  to a packed audience. After the screening, Syed Owais Ali joined via skype and took questions from the audience.

The film was also screened at the Centre of Excellence in Gender Studies at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.