Shamoon Abbasi’s Durj to Stay Off Screen in Pakistan

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The Pakistani feature film, “Durj”, starring Shamoon Abbasi, has been denied censor certification unanimously by both the Central and Provincial Board of Film Censors, making it unlikely to be released in Pakistan. Danyal Gilani, Chairman Central Board of Film Censors, elaborated that the film was watched by the censor board members in light of the established laws and it was a consentaneous decision that the film isn’t appropriate for screening.

The film “Durj” failed to be approved for screening by all three of the censor boards in Pakistan. Other than the Central Board of Film Censors, Sindh and Punjab have their own boards, while Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa follow Central Board’s directions.

Taking into consideration, “Durj” is a story based on cannibalism in which certain people are depicted to be anthropophagus. The film shows people digging graves to eat the dead bodies, which explicitly horrified the censor board members. The members held the opinion that the film had scenes which were too graphic and abominable, setting a poor global image for Pakistan.

After this incident, the cinema houses in Pakistan have retracted the film’s posters and have stopped playing its trailer. Film’s lead actress, Maira Khan, seemed upset over the censor board’s decision. She had high hopes with the relase of the film and commented that a different concept like this should be shown to the audiences.

Shamoon Abbasi’s film “Durj” was to be released in Pakistan on the 18th of October, while it is being released worldwide on the 11th of October. Shamoon Abbasi had previously stated that the film had faced a lot of challenges during the production, and a lot of actors had abandoned the project in the middle as it was either too difficult for them to work in the harsh mountainous regions, or they didn’t believe in the completion of the film.

Apart from being the film’s Director and the Writer, Shamoon Abbasi has played a lead role in the film, alongside Maira Khan, Sherry Shah, Nouman Javaid, and Hafeez Ali. Shamoon Abbasi claims that he and the production team had spent months to research about the film’s main theme and had spent time with people who live in caves, in isolation, to be able to realistically show their way of life.


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