Slackistan Has Been Objected by the Censor Board Pakistan

January 25, 2011

Slackistan is Pakistan’s first slacker film that has already been getting screening and good reviews around the globe. A film that has already gotten as much press coverage as Julian Assange, well, sort of, has been objected by the censor board of Pakistan.

The facebook management of Slackistan updated the fans moments ago with the following update

‘Slackistan’ has been officially objected to by the Pakistan censor board, who have banned all mention of the ‘Taliban’, ‘beards’, ‘Osama’, all swearing, no mention of the word ‘lesbian’ and no sight of alcohol whatsoever in the film. A very mean-spirited decision, given what’s in Hollywood/Bollywood/TV in Pakistan. Maybe it’s too close to home.. maybe it’s just fear talking.. what do you think?

It appears that the film will still be allowed to screen since the objection is made on couple of words which probably would have to be removed before it gets screened in the country. Thoughts in comments.

Complete text of the press release below:


Hammad Khan’s independent film about westernised twenty-somethings in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad, ‘Slackistan’, has generated a string of objections from Pakistani authorities, preventing its release in cinemas across the country.

The Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) have demanded that the filmmaker remove all dialogue references in the film to the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, as well as any mention of Islamic beards and related religious attire.

The film contains several scenes, images and dialogues which make reference to the Taliban and the surrounding religious extremism and insecurity around the lives of the young people in the city.

The censors have also objected to the term ‘lesbian’ in one of the scenes, as well as all instances of bad language in English and Urdu uttered by characters in the film.

Further objections relate to the film’s characters clutching and sharing alcoholic drinks in the film. All suggestion of alcohol being enjoyed has been prohibited from the film.

The CBFC have also stated that, even if all cuts are made as demanded, the film would still receive a restrictive adults-only ‘18+’ rating.

The filmmaker Khan states, “The censor board’s verdict is oppressive, arbitrary and steeped in denial about life outside their government offices. Maybe the establishment’s view is that young Pakistanis saying words like ‘Taliban’ and ‘Lesbian’ represent a more potent threat than the bullets and bombs that are, day by day, finding increasing legitimacy in the country.”

“Apart from being an undemocratic restriction on the filmmaker’s right of expression, the verdict shows the disdain with which the authorities regard local film culture and liberal ideas, in the face of growing extremism and intolerance.”

‘Slackistan’ has had successful screenings at festivals in London, Abu Dhabi, New York, San Francisco and Goa. Mara Pictures released the film in the UK and were also handling its Pakistan release.