Joyland was the first ever Pakistani film in the 2022 Cannes official selection and won the Queer Palme. It also won an Honourable Mention for a First Feature at the 2022 London Film Festival. Pakistani writer-director Saim Sadiq‘s confident, expressive debut feature is conscientiously fair to everyone in its Lahore-set domestic melodrama of secrets, lies and unforeseen self-discovery, but never feels like it’s hedging its bets or shying away from harder truths. Tartly funny and plungingly sad in equal measure, this is nuanced, humane filmmaking, more concerned with the textures and particulars of its own intimate story than with grander social statements — even if, as a tale of transgender desire in a Muslim country, its very premise makes it a boundary-breaker.
As the happily-patriarchal Rana family longs for the birth of a baby boy, the youngest of the Rana men, who is married but has no children, secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and finds himself falling for a fiercely ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates the entire Rana family’s desire for a sexual rebellion.
Venue: William Loveless Hall