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My Pure Land
Based on an incredible true story, Sarmad Masud's visually arresting directorial debut received its world premiere at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. Filmed on location in Pakistan, My Pure Land is a feminist western, which centres on plucky teenager Nazo Dharejo (Suhaee Abro), who vows to protect the family home with her mother and younger sister, armed only with a single Kalashnikov and a limited supply of bullets. In a series of carefully interwoven flashbacks, we learn that Nazo's duplicitous uncle Mehrban wants to seize the property as part of an ugly land dispute. He will stoop to any depths to achieve this goal and has already eliminated Nazo's father (Syed Tanveer Hussain) and brother (Atif Akhtar Bhatti), believing that the women will capitulate at the first show of force. Instead, Nazo stages a valiant final stand that results in the death of two of Mehrban's men. He is enraged by this act of defiance and enlists the local militia comprising 200 gun-toting bandits to shoot dead the women that stand in his way.