New documentary Song of Lahore tells the story of a group of Pakistani musicians who became viral sensations when they released an album covering Western jazz standards with their traditional instruments.
Co-director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy tells Indiewire, "I want people to leave the theater with a greater understanding of the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan. Song of Lahore moves beyond headlines and stereotypes and shows that a vast majority of Pakistanis are not perpetrators of religious violence -- they are victims of it. The beautiful cultural heritage of the region belies its image in the West as monolithically religious, intolerant and violent. By giving our audience intimate access to the lives of these musicians, we hope to raise awareness of the region's beautiful cultural heritage and present a more nuanced portrait of its people. As one of the film subjects, Nijat Ali, says in the film, 'God willing, the entire world will see that Pakistanis are artists, not terrorists.'"