“Marvi: The Mystic Muse” film screening and discussion

Date: 

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4:00pm

Location: 

Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave., Allston

Pakistani singer Sanam MarviPresented by: Harvard Ed Portal, Celebrity Series of Boston, Harvard South Asia Institute, World Music/CRASHarts and Learning From Performers
Admission: Free and open to the public. RSVPs required.
Location map

The award-winning film Marvi: The Mystic Muse explores Pakistani singer Sanam Marvi’s search for her own roots across Pakistan and her journey with Sufism. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Tanya Panjwani and Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University. This event is held in conjunction with Sanam Marvi's concert on Sunday, March 26 at 7:30 pm at Sanders Theatre, presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston and World Music/CRASHarts. For more information about the concert and tickets, visit the Celebrity Series website.

Marvi: The Mystic Muse embarks on a journey through Pakistan with renowned singer Sanam Marvi to discover her roots in Sindh and Punjab, through the shrines of Saints that inspired her to deliver the message of Sufism that permeates the land. It follows her creative process to spread this message through live concert performances, and documents her challenges in spreading the Sufi message in Pakistan and all over the world. The film focuses on the Sufi Saints of Pakistan such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sachal Sarmast, Bulleh Shah, and Shah Hussain through the eyes of Marvi, and features teachers and experts who were a part of her mystical journey.

The documentary showcases how one particular artist is able to internalize and embody her faith in a worldly sense, spreading the message of Sufism throughout the world through the medium of music. This is against the backdrop of a seemingly restricted society, where a section of the population is battling certain societal elements and where Sufi artists as well as female public figures are often at odds with fundamentalist groups in the country. The documentary endeavors to understand how one artist, Sanam Marvi, attempts to maneuver through these limitations to emerge as a prominent female Sufi singer in Pakistan and worldwide.

Born in 1986, in the small city of Hyderabad, in Sindh, Pakistan, Marvi began singing at the age of seven with her father, Faqir Ghulam Rasool, during festivals and ceremonies held at shrines throughout Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab provinces. She continued her studies under noted gurus, including Ustad Fateh Ali Khan at the Gwailor gharana (school). Now a rising star across the subcontinent, Marvi made a breakout performance on Pakistan national television in 2009. Her masterful and revelatory interpretations of the sub-continent’s mystics reach across cultural borders and generations to offer solace in our uncertain and often troubled times.