Bhutto (2010) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A riveting documentary of the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, a polarizing figure in the Muslim world. Following in her father's footsteps as a pillar for democracy, Bhutto was expected to dominate Pakistan's 2008 elections but the assassination sent Pakistan politics into turmoil. This major event sent shock waves throughout the world and transformed her from political messiah into a martyr for the common man.


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  • BHUTTO is the definitive theatrical documentary about one of the most complex and fascinating characters of our time. Her epic life story is a tale of Shakespearean dimension involving a woman heroically battling tradition and terrorism in the most dangerous country on earth; Pakistan. A nuclear armed nation on the brink of destabilization Benazir Bhutto was born into a wealthy family that became the dominant political dynasty in Pakistan. Often referred to as the "Kennedys of Pakistan" the Bhutto dynasty shares a legacy of both tragedy and triumph with its American counterpart. The story of Benazir Bhutto is the story of Pakistan. Her tumultuous life story is intertwined with the equally tumultuous history of her homeland. They both came into being at roughly the same time ; Pakistan in 1947, Benazir in 1953. Pakistan was created during the partition of the Indian subcontinent as a homeland for Muslims at the end of the British Raj. As a result of border disputes it immediately launched into military conflict with its much larger neighbor. Because of this the military rose to power to became the dominant force in Pakistan politics, establishing an endless cycle between civilian and military rule. Benazir was the daughter of the charismatic and visionary politician Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and thus her destiny was determined at birth. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came from a wealthy feudal family of the ancient Bhutto tribe who owned vast tracts of fertile land in the Sindh province. Zulfikar was sent to study in America and England. While still a law student at Oxford he married Nusrat Isipani, an Iranian beauty. They started a family; Benazir, the first born, Murtaza, the eldest boy, Sanam, the younger sister, and Shanawaz , the youngest boy. When Zulfikar returned to Pakistan he launched his political career as a diplomat and rose to world wide fame with h is fiery oratorical performances at the UN. Zulfikar was progressive in both his political views and the treatment of his children. In a part of the world where girls are often uneducated he defied tradition by treating his children equally, insisting they all receive the finest educations. In 1967 he founded the Pakistan's People's Party and eventually became the first democratically elected president of Pakistan and later Prime Minister. While her father rose to power Benazir attended Harvard University during the most turbulent years of the 60's. She took part in anti-war protests and was exposed to the women's movement. She went on to study at Oxford and lived the carefree life of a princess zipping about London in a yellow sports car. She planned a career as a pampered diplomat until fate intervened. Her father was deposed in a coup when General Zia ul Haq declared Martial law. Zulfikar was tried on trumped up charges of murder and hung. Benazir's two brothers, fled Pakistan to escape Zia's wrath while Benazir chose to stay and fight. Thus began Benazir's life-long mission to avenge her father and continue his quest to restore democracy to Pakistan. Benazir and her mother were imprisoned for several years as General Zia forced his extreme view of Islam on Pakistan. He imposed Sharia law, an oppressive and misogynist legal system that dealt out harsh medieval punishments. Living in Afghanistan and Syria, Murtaza and Shanawaz were labeled as terrorists when they were linked to a plane hijacking. As a result Benazir was thrown into a more severe prison where she lost her health. Both she and her mother were eventually released for medical treatment in England where Benazir plotted her return to Pakistan. At a family reunion in France tragedy struck again. Shanawaz was found poisoned under suspicious circumstances. Determined to bring his body back to the Bhutto ancestral burial grounds Benazir returned to Pa kistan. The populace received her with a mass outpouring of sympathy and respect which convinced her to it was time to challenge General Zia's dictatorship. In 1988 she returned to Pakistan to crowds of millions who looked to her as the heir to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's, legacy. She knew a single woman could not get elected in a Muslim country so before launching her campaign to unseat Zia, this icon of feminism Ironically agreed to an arranged marriage to Asif Ali Zardari, a notorious Karachi playboy. Soon she was campaigning while pregnant. Her life took another twist when General Zia died in a suspicious plane crash which cleared the way for her election. At 35 years old, with a newborn son, she became the first female prime minister of a Muslim country. Her success was short lived when she was removed from power after only 20 months due to accusations of corruption and incompetence. She fought the charges and was elected to a second term in which she appointed her husband minister of finance. His alleged corruption earned him the nickname Mr. 10%. During Benazir's second term Murtaza Bhutto returned to challenge his sister for the leadership of the PPP. After openly clashing with Zardari, Murtaza was mysteriously killed in a hail of police gunfire outside the Bhutto family. His death contributed to Benazir's downfall and her second term also ended in controversy. Her husband was imprisoned on charges of corruption and murder. With her husband in jail Benazir went into exile in Dubai where she raised her three children while traveling the world giving speeches warning of the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. When 9-11 happened, Pakistan, under the leadership of dictator Pervez Musharraf became the front line in the war on terror. Pakistan was forced to side with the US and thus also became a target of terrorists. With his power challenged Mushariff cracked down on dissent and began a chain reaction that caused Pakistan to become destabilized In 2007, with Pakistan in turmoil, Benazir was called back onto the world stage as Pakistan's best hope for democracy. With her assassination she transcended politics and became a martyr but left a legacy that will be debated for years to come Author: Johnny O'Hara

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