Six bold Pakistanis from very different walks of life attempt to build a new future while struggling with their country's current crisis.
Directed by Cary McClelland, Imran Babur (Co-Director)
Produced by Billy Smith, Cary McClelland, Robert Profusek,
Cinematography: Imran Babur, Armughan Hassan, Cary McClelland, Zeeshan Shafa
Editing: Faisal Azam, Connor Kalista, Gabriel Rhodes
Original Music: Arooj Aftab, Grey McMurray
Executive Producers: M. Khalid Ali, Phil Michaelsen
A Thousand Faces Media Production in association with Toy Closet Films, The Crew Films and eyeBee Films, Pakistan
Note: There are two versions of this program on the same DVD: original 89-minute theatrical version and 56-minute classroom version.
"Shatters many stereotypes people hold about Pakistan as the land that harbors terrorism." Shaista E. Khilji, Professor, International Affairs, George Washington University
Six bold people navigate the dangerous waters of Pakistan's current crisis to discover a new tomorrow: a cricket star starts a progressive political party, a female journalist goes behind Taliban lines, an ex-mujahid seeks redemption, a trucker crosses dangerous territory to feed his family, a supermodel pushes feminism through fashion, and a subversive Sufi rocker uses music to heal.
Filmed by a team of Americans and Pakistanis over two years, WITHOUT SHEPHERDS cuts through alarmist media depictions of the country to celebrate the bravery of its people.
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2014
Copyright Date: 2013
DVD ISBN: 1-94154-532-7
"The passion and honesty with which the film crew presents life in Pakistan is refreshing and most importantly, the film shatters many stereotypes people hold about Pakistan as the land that harbors terrorism. Instead it allows viewers to experience Pakistan through a different lens, and thoughtfully highlights diversity of views in Pakistan. This film has high educational value for diverse audience. Whether you want to study complexity of the human society in an era of globalization, or understand the truly paradoxical yet fascinating and multi-colored Pakistani society, or simply watch pure human strength at its best in 'not the very best' circumstances, this film is for you. It can engage students in a discussion on a wide range of interesting topics covering religion, international politics, human development, globalization and culture."
Khilji, Professor of Human and Organizational Learning and International Affairs, George Washington University
"A powerful, riveting portrayal of six brave Pakistanis who are trying to make a difference in a harsh environment. The movie offers valuable glimpses on Pakistan and its many facets and locations ordinarily not available to the international audience. I recommend this movie with much enthusiasm."
T.V. Paul, Professor of International Relations, Political Science Dept., McGill University, Author, The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World
"Switching between a handful of Pakistanis scattered around their country, you witness the sprawling magnificence of a nation of people along the Indus River in all its stunning complexity. So much of what is written and produced about Pakistan for western audiences these days is neatly packaged into simplistic and easily digestible half-truths. Without Shepherds gives you none of that. Instead, this heady cinematic experience delivers something far more valuable: the essential understanding required to begin asking the right questions about the world's longest running experiment in Islam and democracy."
Shahan Mufti, Assistant Professor of Journalism, University of Richmond, Author, The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War
"A beautifully crafted film that combines moments of human intimacy and personal insight...We get a slice of Pakistani society rarely afforded to outsiders and a glimpse into the everyday lives of these individuals."
Tom Kirk, Global Policy Journal
"This is an outstanding 'wow' film in its quality of filming, pictures, colors, scenery, and stories--all so real! The contents depict the social tension very well. The complex cultural and social diversity of this land of contradictions between 'modern' and 'traditional' that co-exist has been shown beautifully. Without Shepherds offers a great educational value for the classroom and community dialogues."
Dr Khalida Zaki, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Michigan State University
"An eye-opening ray of hope, Without Shepherds defies contemporary stereotypes of Pakistan and its people, and is highly recommended."
The Midwest Book Review
"Recommended...Portrays a lovely, rural country with chaotic cities bursting with color and activity...[Stimulates] deeper consideration of a country frustratingly stereotyped in the West as culturally and politically repressive."
Sandra Collins, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Pakistan is probably a name that frightens most Westerners...But it is also a place of beauty, diversity, and possibility, as Cary McClelland shows in this evocative film...Suitable for high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, political anthropology, anthropology of Islam, anthropological film, and Central/South Asian and Pakistan studies, as well as general audiences."
Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database
"Without Shepherds captures the vitality of life in Pakistan and the audacity of those who negotiate their hopes there. The stories that fill the long nights of two truckers making their way across the country, the promises of a politician, the business decisions of a model, the recollections of a one-time jihadi, and a journalist's anger at injustice are woven together in a vivid portrayal of ambition in contemporary Pakistan that provides a necessary counterbalance to studies of politics, security and militancy in the country."
Dr. Sana Haroon, Assistant Professor in History and Asian Studies, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Author, Frontier of Faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan Borderland
"Without Shepherds is one of the most visually impressive and insightful docs in recent memory. The film simply and effectively shatters stereotypes about Pakistan, revealing diversity of thought and hope for the future."
Hammer To Nail
"A thoughtful portrait into the lives of some of this troubled country's citizens, who despite their differences of class and ideology, share a longing for a better way of life."
"Inspiring and harrowing at the same time."
"The star power of Imran Khan, Vaneeza Ahmed and Arieb Azhar gives Without Shepherds an edge, yet other subjects such as a Peshawari female journalist, a truck driver and an ex-Taliban warrior give the production an interesting, human dimension."
The Express Tribune with the International New York Times
"[Without Shepherds] hopes to bring a different view to the world of Pakistan and her people."
Chup! Changing Up Pakistan
"Each of the character's journeys was unique, but their shared struggle for justice made the 'film a very emotional experience' for those involved. They are connected because they all went against the mold."
Communicating Across Boundaries
2 Versions: Original 89-minute theatrical version and 56-minute classroom version
Detailed, Color Study Guide with Pre-Screening Questions and Activities, and lessons on Going beyond Stereotypes, Culture, Activism and Politics, and Gender Equality, including the use of Socratic Seminar techniques
SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
2 short films "Amber Dreams" and "A Family in Kashmir"
5 deleted scenes
Awards and Festivals
Grand Chameleon, Best Documentary, Brooklyn Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Best First Feature, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
Special Mention, Asiatica Film Mediale
Slamdance Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Kansas International Film Festival
Lighthouse International Film Festival
San Francisco South Asian Film Festival
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