Crafted by the talented Pakistani filmmaker Kahn, 'In Flames' delves into the repercussions of life within a deeply patriarchal society. It aims to shed light on the psychological toll of oppression and the intricacies of youthful love in Pakistan.
The film immerses viewers in the gritty allure of Karachi, offering a glimpse into the tough decisions necessary for survival. At its core, it weaves a compelling tale of the struggles faced by a mother and daughter following the unexpected passing of the patriarch.
This emotionally charged narrative strikes a chord with audiences, resonating with its unfiltered authenticity. It has received global acclaim, making its mark at renowned international film festivals like the 76th Cannes Film Festival, the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, and the Busan International Film Festival. 'In Flames' is a true cinematic revolution, pushing boundaries in Pakistan.
Originally inspired by Kahn's earlier short films, 'Dia' (2018, 24 minutes) and 'Pak' (eight minutes), 'In Flames' evolved from a drama about a young woman and her clandestine lover into a captivating narrative.
The director, based in Canada but hailing from Karachi, explained to Variety, "The themes were also becoming more relevant to what is happening in Pakistan at this time, around the conversation of women's rights, property rights—many of these issues are currently in a state of flux and conflict, and those themes were also becoming more intense. So, it felt like not only is this the film I can make, but it's the film that must be made."
Kahn believes that 'In Flames' serves as a crucial cinematic contribution to the global dialogue on women's rights, extending far beyond Pakistan and South Asia. He emphasized, "It's happening all over the world right now—look at the US where rights are being rolled back. Look at Iran. It's a global conversation. It definitely feels like the world is in flux in many ways. My hope for the film worldwide is that we elicit reactions."