Life lessons from a Pakistani-American filmmaker's view

Badar's latest short 'Last Lesson' examines origin of LGBT discrimination

Thursday October 6, 2016 07:00 pm EDT

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Pakistani-American filmmaker Badar’s latest short Last Lesson examines the origins of LGBT discrimination. In it, protagonist Jacob is forbidden from taking lessons from his piano teacher, Carmen, when his mother discovers the instructor is a lesbian. The film will screen as part of the Southern Shorts at the Out on Film Festival.

Badar’s Facebook feed inspired the film’s plotline. Littered with stories of queer people getting fired from jobs and being turned away from businesses struck a chord within the filmmaker; he wanted to reflect on the root of this specific discrimination.

Last Lesson explores both sides of the story, showcasing the importance of acceptance while exposing Jacob’s mother’s fear of her son’s lesbian piano teacher for what it is: a result of the way she was taught to think. Ultimately, the film argues, people influence each other’s actions in a lot of unconscious ways. Musical talent, even, can undermine ingrained believes.

The film’s production was plagued with problems. After some backwards bumps in securing the proper manpower, the script landed in the hands of local actor, Insurgent stuntman, and indie film producer Medo Cash, who signed on as producer and assembled a crew. He helped cast actress Tatem Spearman in the dual role of Carmen and Last Lesson music composer. Spearman stars opposite Lisa Finlayson, previously known for her work on the CW’s “Containment.” 

Ultimately, this might be one of those “it takes a village” lessons.

Last Lesson. $11-$200. 5:30 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 6. Midtown Art Cinema, Midtown Promenade, 931 Monroe Dr. N.E. 404-879-0160. www.landmarktheatres.com/atlanta/midtown-art-cinema.

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