Pakistan, 2022 / 127 Mins

Director: Saim Sadiq

Starring: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan

Though the Ranas yearn for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, a girl is born instead. Meanwhile, their youngest son Haider falls for an ambitious trans starlet, despite such a romance thwarting societal norms, and despite his already being married to smart, self-sufficient Mumtaz , who herself yearns for something more. Life seems to conspire against the Ranas, as their quest for conventional selves strains against the truth of who they really are and what they actually want.

A film of innate contradictions – both sweet and foreboding, melodramatic and subtle, funny and deeply melancholic – Joyland offers up an array of nuanced characters with complex inner lives. Exploring longings of different kinds, revealing the absurdity of rigid gender norms and cultural expectations at war with essential human desires, it’s a bright, daring, sensitive study of gender and sexuality.