by Rahman Bunairee
Babar Ahmed’s movie Amka and the Three Golden Rules is a simple tale with a strong message for Mongolians, suggesting that they properly utilize the wealth of natural resources they have recently discovered.
The film revolves around a ten year old orphan boy named Amka who finds a golden coin while collecting cans and bottles in the streets. Amka is the main income provider for his little sister and drunken teenage brother. But, Amka’s attitude changes with his new found wealth. Consumed by materialism, Amka turns away from his responsibilities and family obligations.
The film’s director Babar Ahmed says, the movie highlights Mongolia’s potential for advancement. Ahmed said, “Mongolia has lots of resources. People only know of the 800 year old Mongolia where Ghangis Khan once ruled. But over the past 20 years discoveries of natural resources such as oil, uranium, copper and gold have been found in the region. Mongolia has an abundance of natural resources. Now, Mongolians have two paths they can take. The first path would be to take this new found wealth and continue to retain their rich culture. The second path would be to allow them to be consumed by materialism, while washing away with their culture. And this is the message of my film.”
The turning point of the movie is when Amka loses all of his wealth to waste-less spending and becomes financially in debt. He ultimately returns to his father’s village in the country-side, where his uncle gives him three golden rules to abide by in life-Earning, Spending and Saving!
Babar Ahmed shot this movie entirely in Mongolia and all the actors are Mongolian. The director said, “It was as if the Mongolian people were born camera friendly. Because the culture in Mongolia is similar to the culture in Pakistan, I didn’t encounter many obstacles while making the movie”.
The 14th Annual New York Indian Film Festival showcased 54 movies, one of which was Babar Ahmed’s Amka and the Three Golden Rules. The festival director Aroon Shivdasani stated, “This is Babar’s second film being screened in the New York Indian Film Festival. His first movie, ‘Genius’ won an award for ‘Outstanding Film Creativity’ in 2003. Babar is young and talented director.”
The film festival screening guests included directors, actors, producers and critics. Award winning Indian-American actress and producer Sheetal Sheth, said, “my film is not being show cased at the film festival but I am here as a supporter to other South Asian artists.” She was enthusiastic about Babar’s film Amka. Other critics at the festival believe that Babar has a bright future ahead of him.
Babar Ahmed was born in Pakistan to a Pashtun family and was educated in London and America. He hopes to one day make movies in Pakistan, but is waiting for the right time and opportunity.
His interview with Deewa Radio is available, on our website