Eleven-year-old Humera lives in the small, impoverished Pakistani fishing village of Cashma Goth with her mother and sisters. Because her father was lost at sea, the family struggles to scrape by, and her mother is quick to arrange weddings for her daughters — both to ensure they can be supported and to avoid the shame of having marriageable girls still at home. Humera, however, wants to keep attending the local school, which is barely able to survive because of lack of financial support. Will Humera be able to stay in school or will she be married off like her older sister? Dealing with issues of poverty, education, and child marriage, “A Destruction” explores the shifting societal roles in rural Pakistan. But far from drawing simplistic conclusions, the film provides a nuanced view of its complex familial relationships: Although Western viewers will clearly want to side with Humera and her principal, who value schooling over all else, “A Destruction” also shows sympathy for her mother, who resists education and pushes marriage only because she can’t envision another way for the family to survive.
With director Yazdani and cinematographer Omar Nabulsi.