"Indus Blues" tells us about the endangered world of traditional music in Pakistan, a country that not only deals with political and economic problems but also faces a severe identity crisis. The film’s opening scene shows one of Pakistan’s last living sarinda players whose performance in front of the University of Peshawar is cut short by passersby who compel him to stop by saying: “This is not our culture!” A folk culture that once contributed to a collective identity is now about to perish through the forces of Western-oriented pop culture and Islamist terror.
Jawad Sharif introduces us to the music of the last remaining masters of Pakistani folk music. By depicting their close relationships with the instrument makers and telling the musicians’ individual stories, the filmmaker offers fascinating insights into a rich tradition. Sharif’s breathtaking images of Pakistan’s landscapes become the arena for the struggle for survival of an ancient and valuable culture that has been forced out of the urban centers.
Jawad Sharif is an award-winning filmmaker who has come into prominence for exploring the often ignored social subjects. Known for his signature visual storytelling style, he has also won several awards for his film "K2 & the Invisible Footmen," which has been screening around the world. With his brainchild "Indus Blues", he aims to highlight an art form he personally cares about. Sharif is an alumnus of UCLA, the Swedish Institute and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (idfa), Germany and founder of the production company Bipolar Films, based in Islamabad.