Joyland tells two queer love stories that intersect in unique ways. The first is between Haider (Ali Junejo) and his wife, Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq), which is full of tenderness and reciprocity. The second is Haider’s love for Biba (Alina Khan), a trans woman and erotic dancer who draws Haider into their orbit, allowing him to loosen up and be more confident. This film about the liberation of desire challenges the rigid gender roles and social norms that are deeply embedded in Pakistani society and shows people’s struggles when living outside of traditional expectations.
Directed by Saim Sadiq. Written by Sadiq and Maggie Briggs. Pakistan, US (Punjabi, Urdu with English subtitles). 2 hours 6 minutes. Not rated. Co-presented by OutFilmCT.