These Birds Walk

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Pakistan | 2012 | 75 minutes | Bassam Tariq, Omar Mullick

February 7 - 9, 2014

This ethereal and inspirational story of resilience follows the wayward street children of Karachi, Pakistan who find their only safe haven at The Edhi Home, a philanthropic safe space which provides shelter, food, schooling and the most treasured necessity—love.

In the metropolitan city of Karachi, a runaway boy's life hangs on one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? For their extraordinary debut feature–one that has earned comparisons to François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows–documentary filmmakers Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick focus on one high-spirited young boy who had fled his difficult rural home. Attempting to help him is Asad, a former street kid who is now an ambulance driver working adjacent to the runaway shelter.

Hanging over both of them is the presence of the founder of both the orphanage and the ambulance dispatch center: Abdul Sattar Edhi, the most deeply revered philanthropist in Pakistan.

Simultaneously heart-wrenching and life-affirming, These Birds Walk may take place halfway around the world, but contains a universal message about the need for home.

"The filmmakers record the flash of youth’s headlong energies, its bumps and bruises, and its melancholies and brilliant chaos." - Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

"Gosh, I love this film. Its every moment touches my heart." - Omer Mozaffar, RogerEbert.com

  • Director: Bassam Tariq, Omar Mullick
  • Country: Pakistan, USA
  • Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 75 minutes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Language: Urdu
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: HDCAM
  • US Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories