DUKHTAR

posterWriter/Director Afia Nathaniel captures a mother’s fierce protection of her 10-year-old daughter by escaping an arranged marriage and fleeing the oppressive cultures of Pakistan. Translated in English to Daughter, the heartfelt and hopeful story can resonate with audiences around the globe. (BKP: 4.5/5)

Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky

Set in a small village in Pakistan, “Allah Rakhi” (Samiya Mumtaz) takes care of her tiny household, cooking for her husband in between English lessons from her intelligent 10-year-old daughter, “Zainab” (Saleha Aref). But living in a culture with blood feuds and arranged marriages comes at a price: Zainab, still a child, is promised in marriage to a malicious tribal leader.

Refusing to let her daughter’s innocence be taken away at such a young age, Allah Rakhi flees the village with Zainab by her side. The two women venture out into the harsh conditions of the Pakistani terrain, desperately trying to hide from the tribal leader’s henchmen – and Allah Rakhi’s vengeful husband.

Along their journey, Allah Rakhi and Zainab encounter an ex-Mujahid truck driver, “Sohail” (Mohib Mirza) who kindly gives them a place to hide, a place to escape and a place to start over. The relationships between these three characters catapults the remainder of Dukhtar into two love stories: one between a mother and daughter and the other between a refugee and savior.

Witnessing the intense, harrowing journey to the Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 12.53.20 PMcity of Lahore is eye-opening for viewers. Inspired by a true story of a mother kidnapping her two daughters for a better life, filmmaker Afia Nathaniel traveled back home to her roots and accomplished a task that nobody has done before – a 30-day film shoot in territory between Pakistan and India.  

In that small time frame, with harsh shooting conditions, Nathaniel managed to bring this heartfelt story to life and make it relatable to viewers from all backgrounds. Whether in the Middle East or the United States of America (… or anywhere in between) meaningful relationships between parents and children remain constant. Like Allah Rakhi wants a better life for Zainab, parents around the world strive for better lives for their sons and daughters.

Samiya Mumtaz, drawn to strong female roles and known for Sabiha Sumar’s Von Müttern, Mäusen und Heiligen, plays “Allah Rakhi” as a compassionate, aggressive mother who goes to great lengths for her daughter. The chemistry between Mumtaz and the charming Saleha Aref is evident from their very first scene together until the final frame. Despite its serious tone, the sweet-natured romance developed between Allah Rakhi and Sohail provides the film with a touch of lightheartedness it needs to balance out the tone.

The intense narrative is filled with beautiful imagery, strong characters and a perfectly-paced “chase,” but Dukhtar will resonate with viewers thanks to Nathaniel’s universal theme of a mother’s love. It is a simple premise, but strong enough to carry the entirety of the film.

© Brigid K. Presecky FF2 Media (10/04/15)

Dukhtar-Still-copy

Photos: Samiya Mumtaz as “Allah Rakhi” and Saleha Aref as “Zainab” 

Photo Credits:  Zambeel Films & Shotwell Media

Q: Does Dukhtar pass the Bechdel Test?RedA

Absolutely!

Although the premise is centered around a mother trying to keep her daughter from an arranged marriage, the men are on the outskirts. It is truly about the bond between the two women and their journey to a better life.

Brigid K. Presecky

By Brigid K. Presecky

Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.

205 comments

  1. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be interesting to read content from other authors and practice something from
    their web sites.

  2. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of house .

    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site.

    Studying this information So i’m satisfied to exhibit
    that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just
    what I needed. I such a lot indubitably will make sure to don?t
    omit this web site and provides it a look regularly.

  3. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but
    I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style
    seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely
    unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had
    to ask!

  4. fantastic issues altogether, you simply won a new reader.
    What might you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made some days in the past?

    Any certain?

  5. I believe everything said made a bunch of sense. But, think on this, what if you were to write a awesome headline?
    I am not suggesting your information is not good, but what if
    you added something that grabbed folk’s attention? I
    mean DUKHTAR – FF2 Media is a little boring. You should glance at
    Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create news headlines to get people to click.
    You might try adding a video or a related picture or two
    to get readers excited about everything’ve written. Just my opinion, it might bring your posts a little
    bit more interesting.

  6. Right here is the right site for anybody who wishes to understand this topic.
    You know so much its almost tough to argue with
    you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for
    many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  7. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that
    you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for
    your blog. You have some really good articles
    and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love
    to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an email if interested. Thanks!

  9. Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve keep in mind your stuff prior to and you are just too magnificent.

    I really like what you’ve obtained here, certainly like what you’re
    saying and the best way during which you assert it.
    You are making it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually
    a great site.

  10. It is the best time to make a few plans for the future and it is
    time to be happy. I’ve learn this submit and if I may I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write next articles regarding this
    article. I desire to learn more issues about it!

  11. Excellent items from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are simply too wonderful.
    I really like what you’ve got right here, really
    like what you’re saying and the way during which you are saying it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay
    it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really
    a great site.

  12. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  13. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to checking out your web page repeatedly.

  14. When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the idea of
    a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.
    Therefore that’s why this paragraph is great.
    Thanks!

  15. If some one wants expert view on the topic of running a blog afterward i advise him/her to visit this blog, Keep up the fastidious
    job.

  16. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hi there, You’ve performed a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and in my view recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  17. Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my website thus i got
    here to go back the desire?.I’m attempting to find things
    to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your concepts!!

  18. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but
    I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs
    and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  19. Hi fantastic blog! Does running a blog such as this require a
    lot of work? I have virtually no knowledge of coding but
    I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject nevertheless I just wanted to ask.
    Thanks a lot!

  20. When someone writes an post he/she retains the image of a user in his/her
    mind that how a user can be aware of it. So that’s why this article is perfect.

    Thanks!

  21. I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to
    be precisely what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content
    for yourself? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or
    elaborating on a number of the subjects you write related to here.

    Again, awesome web log!

  22. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote
    the book in it or something. I think that you can do
    with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other
    than that, this is excellent blog. A great read.
    I’ll definitely be back.

  23. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be on the internet the easiest factor to take into accout
    of. I say to you, I definitely get irked whilst
    other people consider issues that they plainly do not understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as
    outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , folks could take
    a signal. Will likely be again to get more.
    Thanks

  24. Howdy are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    create my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your
    own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  25. I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of
    your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
    could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text
    for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  26. Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  27. When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the thought of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.
    Therefore that’s why this post is outstdanding.
    Thanks!

  28. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a
    hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  29. certainly like your website but you have to test the spelling on several of your posts.

    Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I will surely
    come back again.

  30. I was pretty pleased to uncover this website. I want to to thank you for
    ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit
    of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to look at new
    information on your site.

  31. Hi I am so happy I found your weblog, I really found you
    by error, while I was browsing on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to
    say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep
    up the great job.

  32. What i don’t understood is actually how you are no
    longer actually a lot more well-appreciated than you may be now.
    You’re so intelligent. You recognize thus significantly in relation to
    this topic, produced me personally believe it from numerous varied angles.
    Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it is something to do with Woman gaga!
    Your individual stuffs excellent. Always take care of it up!

  33. I think this is among the most significant info for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few
    general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is
    really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  34. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.

    I’ve read this submit and if I could I desire to counsel you few fascinating
    issues or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles
    relating to this article. I wish to learn even more issues approximately it!

  35. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  36. Hey very nice website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I am
    satisfied to find so many useful info right here in the put up, we want work out
    extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. .
    . . . .

  37. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a
    designer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  38. What i don’t understood is in truth how you are no longer actually
    a lot more neatly-preferred than you may be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You understand thus significantly in the case of this
    subject, made me individually believe it from
    so many numerous angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated until it’s one thing
    to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding.
    At all times handle it up!

  39. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put
    in penning this website. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts
    by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

  40. hello there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked
    up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this site, since
    I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score
    if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this
    RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  41. My family members always say that I am killing my time here at web, but I know I
    am getting knowledge every day by reading such fastidious articles.

  42. First of all I would like to say superb blog!

    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you
    do not mind. I was interested to find out how
    you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts
    out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    recommendations or tips? Kudos!

  43. Just desire to say your article is as amazing.
    The clarity for your post is simply great and i could think
    you are an expert on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow
    me to take hold of your RSS feed to stay updated with imminent post.
    Thank you one million and please continue the
    enjoyable work.

  44. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
    i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  45. Hi there I am so delighted I found your weblog, I
    really found you by mistake, while I was researching on Bing
    for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would
    just like to say thank you for a incredible post and a all round interesting
    blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at
    the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
    lot more, Please do keep up the superb work.

  46. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating
    it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your
    blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow
    over time.

  47. Hello there I am so delighted I found your weblog,
    I really found you by error, while I was looking on Yahoo
    for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a
    lot for a tremendous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have
    time to read through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also
    added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

  48. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something which not enough folks
    are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my search for something concerning this.

  49. Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talking about this. I will forward this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks
    for sharing!

  50. What i do not realize is in reality how you are now not actually a lot more smartly-liked than you might be now.
    You’re so intelligent. You know thus significantly with regards to this subject, produced me in my view
    imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except it’s one thing
    to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs great.
    All the time take care of it up!

  51. fantastic publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t notice this.
    You should proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  52. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard
    on. Any recommendations?

  53. hey there and thank you for your information – I
    have definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the web site many
    times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your
    placement in google and can damage your quality score
    if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to
    my email and can look out for much more of your respective
    fascinating content. Make sure you update this again soon.

  54. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for
    your weblog. You have some really good articles and I believe
    I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really
    like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to
    mine. Please send me an email if interested. Cheers!

  55. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as
    though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you
    could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  56. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog.
    You have some really great articles and I
    believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles
    for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Kudos!

  57. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing issues with your blog.
    It seems like some of the text in your content are running off
    the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know
    if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with
    my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Kudos

  58. Superb blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any discussion boards
    that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get
    feedback from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Cheers!

  59. I’m no longer certain the place you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend a while finding out much more
    or figuring out more. Thanks for excellent info I was in search of this information for my mission.

  60. Fantastic web site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans
    additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you
    in your sweat!

  61. Hi there, I discovered your site by way of Google even as searching for a related matter, your web site
    got here up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply was alert to your blog through Google,
    and located that it’s really informative. I am going to be
    careful for brussels. I will be grateful if you happen to
    proceed this in future. Numerous people will probably be benefited from your
    writing. Cheers!

  62. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than three hours today, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours.
    It’s beautiful value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent
    content material as you probably did, the net will probably be a
    lot more helpful than ever before.

  63. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the
    following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this
    hike.

  64. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this
    from. kudos

  65. hi!,I really like your writing very much! share we keep in touch extra about your article on AOL?
    I require a specialist in this area to resolve my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Taking a look forward to look you.

  66. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well
    written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
    your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  67. I really love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make
    this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own blog and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
    Many thanks!

  68. Thanks for the good writeup. It in truth used to be a amusement account it.
    Look complex to far delivered agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we be in contact?

  69. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for
    me. Is anyone else having this problem or is
    it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  70. I used to be recommended this blog via my cousin. I’m now not positive whether this publish is written by way of him
    as nobody else know such designated about my trouble. You’re incredible!

    Thank you!

  71. certainly like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform
    the reality then again I will definitely come back again.

  72. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have bookmarked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be
    rich and continue to guide other people.

  73. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you
    can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  74. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth
    comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t discuss such subjects.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

  75. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting
    identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly
    respond? Thanks!!

  76. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog.
    You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load
    off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested.
    Regards!

  77. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while
    you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your
    broadcast provided bright clear concept

  78. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for
    this info! Thanks!

  79. you are in reality a good webmaster. The site loading pace
    is incredible. It kind of feels that you’re doing any unique trick.

    Also, The contents are masterwork. you have done a wonderful activity in this matter!

  80. Hi there, I discovered your website by the use of Google whilst looking for a similar matter, your web site came up,
    it seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply become aware of your weblog
    through Google, and located that it is really informative.
    I am gonna be careful for brussels. I will appreciate if you proceed
    this in future. Numerous folks will probably be benefited out of
    your writing. Cheers!

  81. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad
    and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83
    views. I know this is entirely off topic but I
    had to share it with someone!

  82. Hi everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit at this web page, and paragraph is
    in fact fruitful in support of me, keep up posting these types of content.

  83. I got this web page from my buddy who shared with me about this website and at the moment this time I am visiting this
    web page and reading very informative articles or reviews here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *