Pakistani documentary: representation of national history and identity (1976-2016)

Zafar, Muhammad Hasan (2017) Pakistani documentary: representation of national history and identity (1976-2016). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


This thesis presents a study of Pakistani documentary, with a focus on the ways in which it represents Pakistan’s national identity and history. The study examines three sources of documentary production – state media, commercial television channels, and independent filmmakers – as three distinct voices of Pakistani documentary. The study argues that the discourses of these institutions are governed by their respective ideological, political, and economic priorities. These factors result in two competing approaches to Pakistan’s national history and identity: right-wing and left-wing. The Islamic ideology of the state governs the discourse of state-sponsored documentaries. The commercial television documentaries take an anti-establishment position, however, they remain faithful to Islamic ideology of the state to a large extend. The independent filmmakers, on the other hand, offer a liberal perspective of history and a secular identity of Pakistan. Hence, they offer a critical view of the state’s Islamic ideology as a governing principle of historiography and identity formation.

The notion of representation entails the issues of authenticity, credibility, and truth-value, associated with the various methods adopted by the filmmakers. Hence, attention is paid to the styles and modes of documentary, with a reflection on the documentarian’s individual approaches to realism. The documentaries have been placed within historical and political contexts considering Pakistan as a postcolonial state, which also functions as a critical framework of this study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Pakistan, documentary film TV video, representation, history, identity, post-colonialism, state media, commercial television, independent film-making, women filmmakers.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D880 Developing Countries
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PK Indo-Iranian
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Goode, Dr. Ian and Eleftheroitis, Professor Dimitris
Date of Award: 2017
Embargo Date: 3 November 2021
Depositing User: Mr Hasan Zafar
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8386
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2017 11:51
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2020 09:42

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