In Bhutto, Telling Pakistan's Story Through Its One-Time Leader's
Despite the biodoc implication of its title, Bhutto is not just a portrait of the late Benazir Bhutto, but also a chronological recap of Pakistans anarchic history. Duane Baughmans nonfiction film pays reverential tribute to Bhutto, who, after the 1979 execution of her prime minster father, became the first woman elected to rule a Muslim state and assumed her paterfamilias mantle as the countrys leading proponent of democratic government, an agenda stymied by a military apparatus increasingly bent on hard-line Islamic law. Baughman somewhat sketchily addresses the charges of corruption and strategic miscalculations leveled against Bhutto, in part by occasionally leaning too hard on the fond talking-head commentaries of friends and family. Nevertheless, the directors lionization of the prime ministerwho was assassinated in 2007 after eight years in exileis bolstered by Bhuttos stirring archival-footage calls for a more just society, as well as by an extensive itemization of Pakistans ceaseless tumult. Contextualizing the prime ministers rise to power within a larger portrait of a nation under constant internal and external siege, Bhutto conveys a forceful sense of tectonic social and geopolitical shifts, as well as the courageous, heartbreaking personal sacrifices its subject made in service to both her homeland and ideals.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.