The image of Pakistan cricket has long been tarnished with prominent fixing controversies. This unfortunate aspect of the sport became more highlighted following the conviction of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir in the spot-fixing scandal. Coupled with the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009, the few bright spots in Pakistan cricket felt diminishing each year.
The perception of Pakistan being an unsafe place to tour gained traction and fed into the Orientalist narratives regarding the local society. Amidst this backdrop of pessimism, the resilience of Pakistan cricket and its fans has come to the fore and the latest documentary venture from Australian journalist Dennis Freedman, explores the soul of the passion and resolve in this society.
Inspired by Pakistan’s Champions Trophy triumph in 2017, Dennis set out to journey through the country and present the actual picture to the world, not just the mainstream media tropes about Pakistan.
The feature film, ‘Dennis Does Pakistan, thus does a tremendous job in depicting the ground realities and the famed hospitable nature of the citizens of Pakistan. The lengthy documentary touches upon various topics concerning the sport and of course features the crazy fans who light up the spirit of Pakistan cricket.
Interviewing many legends of the game through the course of his journey, fans will be delighted to watch their favorite stars including Zaheer Abbas, Moin Khan, Aqib Javed and Misbah-ul-Haq among others.
Most definitely, the climax of the documentary is when Dennis finally gets his dream fulfilled of interviewing the World Cup winning skipper and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. An insightful and chirpy chat that looks at different aspects of the game and its structural issues in Pakistan, Dennis’ interview with PM Imran Khan is a must watch for everyone.