DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT

DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT

    Price: $310.00

    Code: 2320
    Format: DVD

    Directed by Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan
    2007, 52 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Rental: $125

    What are the implications for democracy in Pakistan? Before his sudden resignation, former President Musharraf agreed to discuss this issue over dinner at his official residence, the Army House. Supplemented by a diverse range of interviews, this documentary provides an important study of today's Pakistan.

    Since General Pervez Musharraf took power in a military coup in 2001, he has been described as both a military dictator and as a moderate, fairly progressive leader. Indeed, Musharraf's government lacked the legitimacy that stems from popular approval because he was not democratically elected. But during his tenure, Pakistan experienced moderate economic growth and has presented an image of relative stability in the region.

    Seated next to his mother (who fondly reminisces about his childhood), Musharraf openly discusses his vision of democracy (as it applies to Pakistan), women's rights, US relations, the economy, and Al-Quaeda. Interspersed throughout the film are also discussions with a wide range of people, from laborers to intellectuals, from street vendors to religious right wing political party members, from journalists to industrialists.

    Is Musharraf a better option that what may come from a true democratic election? This question is the focus of Dinner with the President. By what standards do we measure a good leader? Can a military leader guide a state towards a modern democracy? Are dictators ever good?

    Subjects & Collections



    Festivals & Awards

    * Grand Award, UAE International Documentary Competition, United Arab Emirates, 2008


    Reviews

    "As timely as the slap of the morning paper on the porch… Draws picture of a country riven by huge ideological, cultural and gender divisions." - Variety

    “In Dinner With the President the filmmakers Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan go in search of nothing less than the meaning of democracy in Pakistan. That’s an impossibly large subject for a documentary, but the movie finds a number of ways to make small, engaging points on the political evolution of Pakistan.... Far more revealing are the interviews conducted by Ms. Sumar with a spectrum of Pakistanis, from rural peasants and urban hipsters to feminist organizers and boorish patriarchs. Confident and cool-headed, Ms. Sumar is a dynamic screen presence and shrewd interlocutor. The high point of the movie finds her in discussion with a group of mullahs who can’t quite wrap their heads around the concept of Muslim diversity or varying interpretations of the Koran, and who conclude their encounter with this strong woman and her tough questions by simply standing up and leaving the room. “ - The New York Times

    “Highly recommended. A journey exploring dictatorship, Mullahship and democracy as interpreted by the many peoples of Pakistan. Among the many issues explored are the rights of women in a Muslim country, terrorism, the economy and views held by Pakistanis about the United States of America. This is a quality presentation. Editing and photography are excellent.” - Educational Media Reviews Online

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