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A movie directed by Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara

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Engaging documentary

  • May 27, 2011
Bhutto takes political biography documentaries to a whole new level. It manages to be engaging and entertaining whilst also educational. A few things really struck me. First, while it is sympathetic towards Bhutto, it does interview a wide range of political actors, including former president Musharraf and Bhutto's estranged niece. It doesn't shy away from allegations of corruption within her administration, even if it heavily suggests they were mostly political attacks. It also goes into some of the history of Pakistan, but again does so in an engaging and efficient way. FInally, most of the images were colorful and sharp, which made the visuals appealing to watch (it is a movie after all). My one suggestion (for a future release) would be to include an option for subtitles throughout the entire movie. Between the accents of some of the interviewees and muffled quality of some of the older interviews, it's not always easy to understand what everybody is saying. Highly recommended for students of South Asian history or women in politics.

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About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #79
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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About this movie


The history of the Pakistani Bhutto dynasty is a saga of duty, loss, and intrigue that rivals the Kennedys… and possibly the Corleones, as well. Beginning with the meteoric rise to power in the 1960s of Pakistani president and founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the family's timeline has borne witness to nationwide adoration, periods of exile, supreme comebacks, and assassinations. This documentary focusing on two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto does a thorough job in exploring this tangled, fascinating web. Utilizing a wealth of archival clips and personal reminiscences, directors Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara delve deep into the life of Zulfikar Ali's eldest child Benazir, a Harvard-educated, fiercely independent woman who returned to her father's side following a violent military coup. Undergoing years of imprisonment, house arrests, and family tragedies, she nonetheless persisted in her goal to strengthen her country's standing in the world, a mission tragically cut short by her assassination in 2007. While the filmmakers mainly concentrate on their subject's considerable achievements, it is to their credit that they don't shy away from the darker controversies as well, including charges of favoritism and corruption that continue to plague the family to this day. The film's CGI-assisted, montage-heavy style may toe the line between visually arresting and over-caffeinated at times, but the strength of its central character more than ...
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DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
Runtime: 111 minutes
Studio: First Run Features
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