The Prince

In Pakistan, a feudal prince's family has been making life hell for local villagers for centuries. Rafeh Malik is a young feudal prince who inherited Ratrian, a village in Northern Punjab, on his 18th birthday. Prince Rafeh had a friend from the city: Dawn TV journalist Shehryrar Mufti. And one day Shehryar told him: 'Look, man, people just don't buy your act anymore. You can't make out you own these folks.' It was apparently a dramatic moment of conversion. The prince claims he now realizes his land-owning caste has been living in the past.
Mufti has told him about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the prince says he's inspired to try and introduce them to his village. But in the process, he risks alienating his family and even the conservative villagers themselves. After all, they all live close to the edge of the troubled North West Frontier and don't necessarily want what the West calls 'development.'
Will the villagers accept the prince's offer? Will his family stop him? And how genuine was his conversion? In the face of self-doubt, selfishness and conservatism, will he decide to go on?

'An effort to implement the UN's Millennium Development Goals produces a collision of cultures. This video offers a crash course in the micro realities of development politics. In rural Pakistan where, change--especially change that has been designed by bureaucrats who live half a world away--threatens to upset the balance in a community that has persevered through good and bad times for millennia.' Dr. Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, Colorado State University, Pueblo

'Life 6 is a wonderfully educational series that presents the viewers with the dilemmas faced by specific individuals in the socio-historical and economic context of their communities in the midst of an increasingly globalized world. The tremendous value of this series is that, in the brief thirty minutes that each episode lasts, it captures the complexities of the lives of those in it as they face Western influence that force them to reassert, defend, or challenge their local and/or individual identities, cultures, governance, wealth distribution, and practices of achieving justice and reconciliation--to name a few...Life 6 represents these issues in an objective and analytical way that will--without question--lead into a discussion and debate about them by academics and lay audiences alike.' Aniuska Luna, African Peace and Conflict Network

'The problems of development go beyond the shortage of resources or capital or a lack of willpower on the part of developers or local people, as this good short film illustrates. Development is and always will be a ground-level change in the established cultural ways of real human beings...The Prince is a fine introduction to the human side of development...Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, development/ applied anthropology, and Asian studies, as well as general audiences.' Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver, Anthropology Review Database


Main credits

Mufti, Shehryar (film producer)
Mufti, Shehryar (film director)
Zossel, Barbara (editor of moving image work)
Bradshaw, Steve (host)
Bradshaw, Steve (editor of moving image work)
Malik, Rafeh (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editor, Barbara Zossel; series editor, Steve Bradshaw.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Developing World
Human Rights
Islamic Studies
Millennium Development Goals
Rural Studies
Social Justice
Social Psychology
United Nations
Women's Studies


Pakistan, Pakistani, landowner, MDGs, Rafeh Malik, Ratrian, Northern Punjab, Dawn TV, Shehryrar Mufti, conversion, caste, land-owning caste, millennium development goals, North West Frontier, conservatism,; development; "The Prince"; Bullfrog Films