Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Westerners conflate arranged marriage with forced marriage, says Jemima

Jemima says she saw the arranged marriage culture closely during her stay in Pakistan

A screengrab from the official trailer of the movie Whats Love Got To Do With It?.— Trailer/Screengrab
A screengrab from the official trailer of the movie 'Whats Love Got To Do With It?'.— Trailer/Screengrab

Director of the upcoming movie "What's Love Got To Do With It?" Jemima Goldsmith, says that people in the West think that arranged marriage is an outdated idea, and “conflate the idea of forced marriage and arranged marriage which is, of course, completely different”.

Talking to Geo News regarding her upcoming movie, the British screenwriter and producer said the movie is based on stuff she saw or experienced and reflected her journey of understanding an arranged marriage.

“Every single anecdote or character or line in the film comes from something but it’s not a biopic, it’s not my story," she added. 

Talking more about her growing understanding of arranged marriages, she added that at the age of 21 in Pakistan, she had a very limited understanding of these things, but she grew to understand these things well with time.

Jemima said that during her decade-long stay in Pakistan, she saw arranged marriages “up-close, long-term ones, and ones that were being arranged and I saw people who were really happy and they were successful in those marriages”.

The British filmmaker shared what it was like living in Lahore’s famous Zaman Park with her in-laws for 10 years. She said that after marrying Imran Khan she went to Lahore where she lived with her ex-husband’s large and joint family who is “pretty conservative”.

Jemima said, “We lived in a joint family household. I lived with my ex-husband’s sisters, their husbands, their children, and his father, all in one house, in Zaman Park, and all his other relatives lived in Zaman Park as most people know.”

She said that after her divorce from Imran Khan, she came back to the UK “with a completely different view of how these things work." She said that she used to joke with her British friends, about who would their parents choose for them, given the choice if they let their parents choose a candidate for them to marry. "Who would it be, and more importantly, would it work? And that was the first idea for the film," she said.

This correspondent asked her about the love emojis she gets on Twitter and requests from her Twitter followers to consider returning to Pakistan, settling there and maybe marrying again.

Jemima Goldsmith replied: “Pakistan zindabad.”

‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ is being released in UK Cinemas on 24th February.