As the strictly traditional Rana family awaits the birth of yet another boy, the youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls in love with one of its trans members. In parallel with his secret flirt, the entire family opens up to unexpected sexual experimentation. This year’s Queer Palme d’Or is an unexpected liberating film from Pakistan, the first in the history of the Cannes Film Festival from this country. The film’s pansexual momentum does away with gender stereotypes and any prejudice as to how a film like “Joyland” could ever come out of such a stronghold of patriarchy and religious puritanism.
PAKISTAN / 2022 / COLOR / DCP / 126’ / URDU
While Ranas, a strictly traditional family, can’t wait for another boy to be born, their teenage son joins an erotic dance company and falls in love with a trans member. On the fringes of his own unseen flirtation, the whole family starts opening up towards an unexpected erotic experimentation. This year’s Queer Palm is an unexpectedly and explosively liberating film from Pakistan, the first in the history of Cannes from the particular country. Its sexual momentum sweeps along with gender stereotypes and every pre-decided thought which until recently would not even allow the expectation for a film like ‘Joyland’ to spring from a bastion of traditional patriarchy and religious puritanism. N.S.
DIRECTOR: Saim Sadiq
SCREENWRITERS: Saim Sadiq, Maggie Briggs
DoP: Joe Saade
MUSIC: Abdullah Siddiqui
EDITORS: Saim Sadiq, Jasmin Tenucci
PRINCIPAL CAST: Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Sohail Sameer, Salmaan Peerzada, Sania Saeed
Pakistani director. He has won the Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. He has studied Anthropology in Pakistan and got his Masters’ from Columbia, New York. This is his feature debut.