Political, subversive and artistically maverick, Pakistan’s leading filmmaker Jamil Dehlavi’s remarkable body of work stands out for its originality and engagement with social and political questions. His vision captures the diversity and power of both the religious and the secular in everyday life.

Following August’s Dehlavi season at BFI Southbank, on 22 October 2018 the BFI brings his 1980 film The Blood of Hussain (banned in Pakistan) to Blu-ray/DVD for the first time anywhere. This Dual Format Edition includes Towers of Silence (1975) and other special features.

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In The Blood of Hussain, the annual mourning procession for the murdered Hussain, grandson of the prophet Muhammad, is the setting for an allegorical tale of revolutionary struggle against injustice and oppression. Banned by successive military regimes in Pakistan, the film has achieved legendary status in its country of origin.

Dehlavi’s Towers of Silence weaves scenes of Zoroastrian funerary rituals – in which bodies are consumed by vultures – with glimpses of armed insurrection, juxtaposing traumatic landscapes of sex, death and faith.

Special features

Brand new masters of both films presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
Between the Sacred and the Profane (2018, 66 mins): Dr Ali Nobil Ahmad explores the cultural, artistic and political background of Jamil Dehlavi’s films
Jamil Dehlavi in Conversation (2018, 76 mins): an on-stage conversation between the director and curator Timothy Cooper
Illustrated booklet with a new essay by Raficq Abdulla, writing by MJ Fischer and full film credits

Product details

RRP: £24.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1325 / Cert 15

UK, Pakistan / 1980, 1975 / colour, black and white / 106 mins, 51 mins / English and Urdu language with optional English and English hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratios 1.66:1, 1.37:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 1.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit) / 2 x DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio (48kHz/16-bit)


On paper I am an Italian living in London, in reality I was born and bread in a popcorn bucket. I've loved cinema since I was a little child and I’ve always had a passion and interest for Asian (especially Japanese) pop culture, food and traditions, but on the cinema side, my big, first love is Hong Kong Cinema. Then - by a sort of osmosis - I have expanded my love and appreciation to the cinematography of other Asian countries. I like action, heroic bloodshed, wu-xia, Shaw Bros (even if it’s not my specialty), Anime, and also more auteur-ish movies. Anything that is good, really, but I am allergic to rom-com (unless it’s a HK rom-com, possibly featuring Andy Lau in his 20s)"