Join the Harvard Ed Portal for a free screening of the award-winning film “Marvi: The Mystic Muse,” exploring singer Sanam Marvi’s search for her own roots across Pakistan and her journey with Sufism. The event will follow a post-screening conversation with filmmaker Tanya Panjwani and Professor Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University. This screening is also sponsored by Celebrity Series of Boston, Harvard Office for the Arts’ Learning From Performers program, Harvard South Asia Institute, and World Music/CRASHarts.
This film 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. We discover 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 speak to 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 certain 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.