This visually reflective documentary by Shehrezad Maher attempts to reconstruct trauma — both of first responders in Karachi, confronted with death every day, and of the victims and survivors whose experiences are shown via televised re-enactments replayed for mass entertainment.
Originating from a prompt to two ambulance drivers in Karachi to retell their recurring dreams, this film explores the permeable boundaries between memory and fiction, and between lived trauma, its recollection, and its re-enactment. First responders reflect on the aftermath of violent events, while television re-enactment actors audition for, and perform the gendered roles of victim, perpetrator, and witness in scenarios ranging from the banal to the tragic. Unfolding through rituals, preparations, dreams, and performance, we never see the tragic events themselves, but instead catch traces of the extent to which they have been internalized by a society. -KE
2018 Montreal International Documentary Film Festival
2018 Visions du Reel
Shehrezad Maher (in attendance)
Shehrezad Maher was born and grew up in Karachi, Pakistan (1988) and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She studied visual arts at Bennington College and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University (2014). Her work has screened at institutions and festivals such as Visions du Réel (Nyon, Switzerland), RIDM (Montréal, Canada), the LA Film Forum (Los Angeles, CA), Anthology Film Archives (New York, NY), and Experiments in Cinema (Albuquerque, NM).