Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
Those familiar with Pakistan's history will be most likely to appreciate this elaborate tribute to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man who created the Muslim nation in the wake of Great Britain's relinquishment of control over India. The story begins on a fantastical note, as an ailing Jinnah (Christopher Lee) expires and then finds himself in a heavenly place awaiting final judgment on his deeds. That could take some time, for the celestial bureaucrats in charge have misplaced Jinnah's file and the whole heavenly computer network is down. With nothing but time on his hands, Jinnah answers the many questions of his guide (Shashi Kapoor). His responses comprise the main story. Jinnah's tale begins in 1947 as England prepares to grant India its freedom. Muslims have always been a minority in the diverse country and Jinnah wants to create a country especially for them. The Muslim leader's nemesis, Viceroy Mountbatten (James Fox) finds Jinnah's proposal disturbing and so attempts to convince Ghandi (Sam Dastor) and Nehru (Robert Ashby) to dissuade Jinnah from starting more trouble, but it is to no avail. The story then jumps backward to 1916 when Jinnah (played as a young man by Richard Lintern) served as a prominent member of the India Congress Party. It was during this time that he married a beautiful Parsee (Indira Varma). As the guide continues his questions, a deeper understanding of Jinnah and the bloody events surrounding the genesis of Pakistan emerges. Jinnah played at the 1998 Montreal Festival of New Cinema & New Media.
afterlife, flashback, guide, heaven, history, leader, life, Muslim, past