My Pure Land

My Pure Land

My Pure Land, based on a true story, depicts the armed confrontation over the ownership of a property in rural Pakistan where the women of the house take up weapons in an attempt to protect their home from an invading group of mercenaries. A rustic mixture of the Western genre coupled with the depiction of female empowerment, the film wisely chooses to focus less on heroism and more on bravery. The women, a mother, and her two young daughters have to defend themselves because the men of the house are either wrongly imprisoned or have been killed, but what makes this more complicated is the law does not interfere because the dispute is deemed a family problem stemming from a disagreement over inheritance.

Pure Land’s approach of diving headfirst into the confrontation, just as it opens, instead of building towards it, has mixed results. Instead of seeing how things get to this point, we are simply thrust into the situation, which drowns out the potential to watch what could potentially be a scintillating escalation. To counterbalance this, the film is interspersed with numerous flashbacks, but some of these are from the point of view of characters that seem extraneous, like a helper who happens to be trapped at the house under siege (though we gradually learn he has a deeper connection with the family). The period details and rural authenticity make up for the lack of any real tension that such a situation would demand and the honest portrayal of family relationships, especially the tender bond between the upright father and his daughters supply enough impetus to give the film a consideration.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About Faizan Rashid

A veteran Dubai based film critic, Faizan has been reviewing movies for nearly a decade. His work has been published in local newspapers such as 7days and on prestigious online websites such as MSN Arabia and