Dr Abdus Salam’s biopic is a happy film… if you don’t have a conscience

Source: Dawn News

BY Zainab Imam

Salam, a 75-minute documentary that stays with you long past its duration
Salam, a 75-minute documentary that stays with you long past its duration

It wasn’t planned to be this way, but the coincidence is almost too perfect: the biopic Salam – The First Muslim Nobel Prize Winner played at the DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) on the day that the newly-elected government of Pakistan asked distinguished economist Atif Mian to step down from the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council because of his Ahmadi faith.

Salam, a 75-minute documentary that stays with you long past its duration, played last week to an audience of largely Pakistanis in Washington DC, from college students and temporary residents to those born and bred in the United States, and those who were young men and women who still lived in Pakistan when a 53-year-old Abdus Salam won his Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979.

The documentary begins with Farsi-language commentary accompanying the now well-known footage of Dr Salam accepting his Nobel Prize in a sherwani, pagg, and Saleem Shahi khussay. Borrowing from one of his colleagues, who is interviewed in the film, he looked like a Mughal prince among other men dressed like “penguins” in their tuxedos.

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