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THESE BIRDS WALK (directors: Omar Mullick/Bassam Tariq; cinematographer: Omar Mullick; editor: Sonejuhi Sinha; music: Todd Reynolds; cast: Abdul Sattar Edhi, Asad Ghori, Omar, Shehr Ali, Humeira, Mumtaz, Rafiullah, Saqib; Runtime: 71; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Omar Mullick/Bassam Tariq/Valentina Canavesio/Sonejuhi Sinha; Oscilloscope Laboraties; 2013-Pakistan-in Urdu with English subtitles)
“Remarkable inspirational social conscious doc.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq direct this remarkable inspirational social conscious doc about the runaway children of Karachi, Pakistan, and the home that cares for these unfortunates. The home was founded in 1951 for $50 by the humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi, whose group now runs over 300 centers all over Pakistan. The film tells the story of the kids in his shelter, as we only see the 85-year-old Edhi once when giving basin baths to the emaciated preschoolers in the opening shot.

The runaways are given free shelter and must live there obeying the home rules, and can only leave if their parents come for them. The stars of the film are the sympathetic young ambulance driver, Asad, who for the last couple of years brings the homeless children to the shelter when not bringing patients or corpses to the shelter’s hospital and the young tough-talking 10-year-old Omar (using an alias), who ran away from his Taliban-held land living family.

The pic shoots for an atmospheric lyrical presentation, and leaves us with the impression that in this impoverished and dangerous part of the world life is not easy and hard to navigate. The safe-haven shelter realizes the neighborhood it resides in is not always children friendly, so by its entrance a bassinet bears the words LEAVE THEM IN THE CARRIAGE. DON’T KILL THE CHILDREN.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”