When an audience member at the Lahore Literary Festival asked author Fatima Bhutto which pop culture films and shows she likes, we picked up our pens and jotted down her recommendations. In keeping with the theme of her latest non-fiction book, New Kings of the World: The Rise and Rise of Eastern Pop Culture, her suggestions are all distinctly non-Hollywood.
And while she gave a shout out to the popular historical fiction Turkish show Ertugrul, cheekily saying it would be faster to ask who isn’t watching it, she did not mention it in her favourites.
1- The South Korean ‘Pitch-Black Modern Fairytale’ Film that Made Oscar History
“I think Parasite is an incredible film which people should watch. It is a film about capitalism and the cruelty of a system which has no end. The success of Parasite reflects how America isn’t making films that are reflecting people’s anxieties,” Bhutto shared.
2- A Turkish Mafia Show
The erudite author explained how she enjoyed Çukur – a Turkish adaptation of The Godfather.
3- The Inspirational Bollywood Film about a Rapper from the Streets
“When I told Shah Rukh Khan, ‘I’ve been watching all your films for the past week,’ he said, ‘My apologies’,” shared Fatima Bhutto with the audience. The Bollywood film she liked the most was actually Gully Boy.
4- An Iranian Dramedy from 2004 about an Escaped Convict Posing as a Mullah
Bhutto noted that the best films right now are coming from Korea and Iran. “I didn’t write about Iran because the book is focusing on mass culture. Iran is more independent. I encourage everyone to watch Marmoulak (The Lizard),” she shared.