Benazir Bhutto was born into a wealthy landowning family that became Pakistan’s dominant political dynasty. Often referred to as the “Kennedys of Pakistan,” the Bhuttos share a painful history of triumph and tragedy, played out on an international stage.
Educated at Harvard and Oxford, and with an eye on a foreign service career, Benazir’s life changed forever when her father, Pakistan’s first democratically elected president, chose Benazir to carry his political mantle over the family’s eldest son. In the late 70’s, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was overthrown and executed by his handpicked Army Chief, Benazir swore to avenge her father and restore democracy — or to die trying.
Benazir Bhutto may have broken the Islamic glass ceiling, but she was wed in a traditional arranged marriage to then-Karachi playboy Asif Ali Zardari. Her two terms in power saw acts of courage and controversy as she eradicated polio and stood up for women, while fighting the male-dominated political elite, and a nervous military leadership, while battling accusations of corruption and scandal.
In 2007, with the South Asian country rolling in turmoil and under the thumb of yet another military dictator, Benazir was called back onto the world stage as Pakistan’s best hope for democracy. With her assassination she transcended politics, but left a legacy of simmering controversy and undeniable courage that will be debated for years.
Directed by Duane Baughman
Duane Baughman, Producer/Director
Duane Baughman is the owner and founder of the San Francisco-based Yellow Pad Productions, through which he produced and funded the 2010 Sundance Film Festival feature-length documentary selection BHUTTO. He is the owner of the nationally regarded political direct mail firm, The Baughman Company which has been responsible for helping elect Michael R. Bloomberg mayor of New York City, and the historic presidential campaign of another barrier-breaking woman, Hillary Clinton.
Mark Siegel, Producer
Pakistan expert Mark Siegel, a partner at Locke Lord Strategies, has a vast political resume’ that includes serving as Deputy Assistant to President Jimmy Carter, Assistant to former Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee. Mark assisted Benazir Bhutto in updating her autobiography, “Daughter of Destiny” in 2007 and co-authored with her the international best selling book “Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West” shortly before her death. He frequently appears on television as a political analyst, and was a guest on THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART interviewed about his book and friendship with Ms. Bhutto. During three Democratic National Conventions, Siegel served as political consultant to the late longtime CBS News anchor and newsman Walter Cronkite. A prominent speechwriter, he has written for Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senators, Congressmen and corporate executives as well as international dignitaries.
Glenn Aveni, Executive Producer
Glenn Aveni is the owner and founder of Icon TMI and has 25 years’ experience in Hollywood producing, directing, and distributing major motion pictures and documentary features. He served as Executive Producer of LES PAUL – CHASING SOUND that won the Chicago Film Fes
Bhutto will be screening at the Frontline Club in conjunction with the HotDocs Film Festival