The Pakistani part of the six documentary film series Girls around the World

Director: Sabiha Sumar  
Genre: Documentary
Duration: 30 min. / 45 min.
Production Year: 1999
Master Format: DigiBeta
Audio:  Stereo
Distributor in Scandinavia: Kroma Productions Ltd.


Anousheh lives with her strict Muslim parents and two brothers in Karachi, Pakistan. At 17, she is at an age where daughters are usually married off. But Anousheh wants to study and refuses to accept the restrictions her religion and culture have imposed on her personal freedom. It causes conflict with her mother and lengthy discussions with her father about the interpretation of the Koran and its position on the role of women in society. Her desire to be “as free as her brothers” is drawing her close to the Islamic political party, Jamaat-i-Islami which, although dominated by men, promises the liberating power of Islam for both men and women. The film allows Anousheh as she struggles to realise her dreams and cope with her share of disappointment. It is a beautifully realised and rare portrait of girls in South Asia and their relationship to Islam at the beginning of the 21´st century. Original languages Urdu/English.

Script and direction: Sabiha Sumar
Camera: M. Claire Pijman, M. Iqbal, Sven Sauer
Editing: Calle Overweg
Supervising Editor: Bettina Böhler
Sound: Ludo Keeris, G M Chand
Music: Sawan Dutta
Producers: Pascale Schmidt, Brenda Parkerson
Co-producers: Gaëlle Guiny, Outi Rousu, Bernd Hellthaler
Co-production Kroma Productions (Finland), Karaba Productions (France)
In association with: ZDF/3sat, YLE TV1, Euroarts Entertainment, AVEK
Production: Trafik Film  1999


Girls around the World
“Don’t ask Why” is one of the six part documentary series GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD. It is a collection of extraordinary documentaries on seventeen-year-old girls across the globe. Each focuses on one girl – her hopes and dreams,world and worldview. Directed by local women filmmakers in Peru, Pakistan, Benin, China, Germany and Finland, a mosaic emerges that not only depicts the great diversity in the lives of these girls, but also embodies the perspectives of an international roster of contemporary female film makers. Production: Trafik Film (Germany), Kroma Productions (Finland), Karaba Productions (France) In association with: ZDF/3sat, YLE TV1, Euroarts Entertainment, AVEK.