Haider is unemployed while his smart, resourceful wife Mumtaz is the one that works, she is a talented makeup artist. Haider gets a job at a local erotic dance theatre, assuring his family he is the “manager”. In fact, he is a backing dancer for the show’s transgender star Biba, with whom Haider falls deeply in love. This is a movie about people who find their inner lives and sense of themselves don’t match up to what is expected of them.
Awarded the Un Certain Regard jury prize at Cannes, where it received an 8 minute standing ovation, and also Pakistan’s entry for the 2023 Oscars.
“A world that is unfamiliar, but with all the torments of family. Who are you, and who do they think you are supposed to be? A story currently taking up column inches, set against one that is almost never discussed. The reviewers were also distracted, meaning you’ll benefit from the unexpected. You will be transported, engrossed and moved.”
“Joyland deploys a different sort of male gaze, one laced with envy and curiosity rather than possession – painfully aware that the men anointed to run the world are themselves utterly miserable.”
Alizeh Kohari, The New York Review of Books.
“The picture transcends the tragic romance narrative, to achieve something rather more complex and satisfying.”
Wendy Ide, The Observer UK.
“A film of huge heart and empathy. Mirroring the hapless hero’s journey, it’s an unexpected romance.”
Tara Brady, Irish Times.
“A movie that feels rich in terms of tone and characters, and has emotional depth.”
Karen Gordon, Original Cin.