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Documentary - Politics

DVD: Available Now
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Mild violence

Run Time:
110 minutes

Duane Baughman, Johnny O’Hara

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Now available to watch on beamafilm

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BHUTTO is the definitive documentary that chronicles the life of one of the most complex and fascinating characters of our time. Hers is an epic tale of Shakespearean dimension. It’s the story of the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation: Pakistan. Newsweek called it the most dangerous place in the world, and the home of nuclear war heads and the Taliban.

Benazir Bhutto was born into a wealthy landowning family that became Pakistan’s dominant political dynasty. Often referred to as the “Kennedys of Pakistan,” the Bhuttos share a painful history of triumph and tragedy, played out on an international stage.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford, and with an eye on a foreign service career, Benazir’s life changed forever when her father, Pakistan’s first democratically elected president, chose Benazir to carry his political mantle over the family’s eldest son. In the late 70’s, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was overthrown and executed by his handpicked Army Chief, Benazir swore to avenge her father and restore democracy — or to die trying.

Benazir Bhutto may have broken the Islamic glass ceiling, but she was wed in a traditional arranged marriage to then-Karachi playboy Asif Ali Zardari. Her two terms in power saw acts of courage and controversy as she eradicated polio and stood up for women, while fighting the male-dominated political elite, and a nervous military leadership, while battling accusations of corruption and scandal.

In 2007, with the South Asian country rolling in turmoil and under the thumb of yet another military dictator, Benazir was called back onto the world stage as Pakistan’s best hope for democracy. With her assassination she transcended politics, but left a legacy of simmering controversy and undeniable courage that will be debated for years.


Hot Docs Q&A: Bhutto -- Portrait of an iconic leader
Mark Medley, Monday, May 03, 2010
A question & answer with Mark Seigel, producer and Duane Baughman, director of the documentary film Bhutto.
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Shinan: Worthy of The Queen
Posted April 28, 2010
Pivoted around Pakistan’s First Daughter, the now myth-embalmed Benazir Bhutto, it tells the story of the woman who was alternately called a “kleptocrat in a Hermès scarf” and then, by many, a born-to-be shepherdess of a nation.
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Best of 2010 Hot Docs fest
By LIZ BRAUN, QMI Agency April 28, 2010
Directors Duane Baughman and Johnny O’Hara posit the Bhuttos as the Kennedys of Pakistan — and the late Benazir as the Golden Child — with some lip service given to their enemies. What’s clear is that the last job you’d ever want in the world is president or prime minister of Pakistan, since it seems to come with a near-automatic death sentence. This is a fine, scrupulously researched historical intro to one of the world’s largest countries and a potential powderkeg.
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Blood and Bhutto
Brian D. Johnson on Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Imagine what Shakespeare could have done with Benazir Bhutto. In his world, her story might go something like this. A beloved king breaks tradition and decides his eldest child, not his eldest son, can inherit his throne. She is brilliant and beautiful. The king is toppled by a cruel despot, and hanged. His daughter is imprisoned. Her younger brother is found dead, probably poisoned. She comes out of exile to win the hearts of her people and become their queen. The older brother rebels against her rule and is killed. His daughter accuses the queen and her husband of plotting his murder. The queen loses her throne. Her husband is jailed. And after eight years of exile in a desert kingdom, she comes home to vie for the throne, and is assassinated.
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By NICK VIVARELLI MArch 25, 2010
ROME -- Debuting under new ownership, Italo indie shingle Mikado has closed a clutch of acquisitions...
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BBC World News America
Katty Kay February 15, 2010
It has been more than two years since former Pakistan Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated as she was leaving a campaign rally in Rawalpindi. Now her story has been captured in a documentary film titled "Bhutto" produced by her former US spokesman Mark Siegel.
Watch the Interview

Bhutto Film Captures Triumph, Tragedy
Richard Engel, NBC News's Chief Foreign Correspondent - February 2, 2010
A new documentary, "Bhutto," captures the rise and fall of Pakistan's former prime minister and includes rarely seen family photos and video.
Watch the Story

The festival’s eternal conflicts: commerce vs. art
By Kenneth Turan FILM CRITIC > January 20, 2010
“Bhutto”: The history not just of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto but also of her star-crossed family and the Pakistan their lives revolved around. Lively, thorough and involving.
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