The Rise and Fall of Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s story is an astonishing political parable in the mould of tragedy- but it also about the making of present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the violent birth pangs of these two modern nation states. The film examines his meteoric rise and fall from the perspective of those who knew him intimately, and of closest family members who have broken their silence after decades.


The Rise and Fall of Bhutto

This is the untold story of Pakistan’s first democratically elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was toppled and executed by the military in 1979. Charismatic and larger than life, Bhutto electrified the masses and swept to power after the country’s first free elections in 1970. He was hailed as a messiah by the poor and enjoyed popular support from virtually every corner of Pakistan. An icon of third-world Nationalism in his day, he was seen as a liberator and revolutionary. Less than 10 years later he was hanged like a common criminal as the country watched in silence. No other individual in the history of the Indian subcontinent has achieved such colossal power or suffered so ignominious an end.

ZAB was an infinitely complex and paradoxical figure. His unique charisma and eloquence matched equally deep-rooted failings that brought him to an early and violent death. His demons were as personal as they were political, stemming from a deep seated insecurity that had its roots in childhood. The excesses that emanated from this ‘fatal flaw’ ultimately led to his downfall. Bhutto’s story is an astonishing political parable in the mould of tragedy- but it also about the making of present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the violent birth pangs of these two modern nation states. The film examines his meteoric rise and fall from the perspective of those who knew him intimately, and of closest family members who have broken their silence after decades.