The 2007 movie was released across Europe last October and the GCC this month, but has been snubbed by Bahrain’s cinemas, says Pak Music.Net Bahrain branch administrator Mohammed Salman.
Mr Salman, whose job is to promote Pakistani music and films across the region, said he had tried repeatedly to get the film screened here, but in vain.
The film depicts the conflict amongst Muslims in the US following the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
Bahrain Cinema Company and Dana Cinema had each rejected the film, said Mr Salman, who is based in Bahrain.
“They rejected my request several times, saying the movie is not for Bahrain cinemas,” he said.
The film was named the best foreign film at the 31st Cairo International Film Festival last November, best foreign film at Muscat Film Festival and has been honoured with the Roberto Rossellini award in Italy.
It stars Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, Hollywood actress Austin Marie Sayre and Pakistani actors Shan Shahid, Iman Ali, Rasheed Naz, Hameed Sheikh, Simi Raheal and Fawad Khan.
“The film depicts a war going on between the fundamentalists and the liberal Muslims,” said Mr Salman.
“The situation creates a rift not only between the Western and Islamic worlds, but also within the Muslims.
“The educated and modern Muslims are in a difficult situation because of their approach towards life and their western attire.
“They are criticised and harassed by the fundamentalists and on the other hand the Western world sees them as potential suspects of terrorism, just because of their Muslim names.
“The interesting thing about the film is how it connects the happenings in the three continents.
“Unlike the usual Indian and Pakistani films based on romantic saga, dances and songs, this film is based on some very serious issues, raising a lot of controversial questions.
“It is about the difficult situations in which Pakistanis in particular and the Muslims in general are caught up since 9/11 attack.”
Pakistan Embassy community welfare attachÅ½ Habib Gilani said Bahrain’s cinemas were missing out on good business, since many people would want to see the film.
“First of all, the movie is produced and directed on an international level,” said Mr Gilani.
“It highlights the universal issues of terrorism and its affect on the Muslims worldwide.
“We don’t say that the cinemas are discriminating the Pakistani community, but they are not taking all the appeals seriously.
“I don’t understand why they prefer releasing only English and Hindi movies, although we also represent a large community here.”
Mr Gilani said there were around 45,000 Pakistani in Bahrain, out of which thousands are cinema-goers.
The movie has received a great welcome worldwide, except in Bahrain, says Pakistan Club literary secretary Sadiq Shad.
“This is a total discrimination against our community,” said Mr Shad.
“The influence of Indian and English movies, even Egyptian and Malayalam movies is so high that they don’t consider other movies.”
But Bahrain Cinema Company public relations officer Sunil Balan said the company brought movies according to public demand.
“We bring the movies on public demand and most of people want to see Indian and English movies,” said Mr Balan.
Dana Cinema officials were not available for comment.