TIFF 2017: What Will People Say

Cinema Axis

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In What Will People Say, young Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) is caught in an irreconcilable culture clash between her Pakistani heritage and her Norwegian surroundings. At home, especially in the presence of her father, she plays the part of the faithful Muslim daughter. Out with her friends, she is your standard Western teenager – chasing boys, navigating high school, and just trying to grow up.

The opposing viewpoints collide one night, and Nisha is kidnapped by her father and forced to live with relatives back in Pakistan. This is all in service of teaching her (read: forcing her) to act in accordance with her parents’ wishes.

What Will People Say is not a particularly kind film, but it is obviously a personal one. Writer-Director Iram Haq lays the story out bluntly, forcing the viewer to walk alongside Nisha without any reprieve. It’s a harsh journey.

That harshness contrasts with Nisha’s…

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