A British Pakistani rapper (Riz Ahmed) on the cusp of his first world tour is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break.
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Mogul Mowgli is the debut narrative feature from award-winning documentary filmmaker Bassam Tariq (These Birds Walk). Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal, TIFF ’19) stars as Zed, a British Pakistani rapper — a character partially inspired by Ahmed’s own career as a rapper. Ahead of his first international tour, Zed decides to fly home to visit his family in the United Kingdom and is struck suddenly by an autoimmune disease. As his condition worsens, Zed’s dreams as an artist begin to disappear, only to be replaced by vivid hallucinations as he descends into a physical and emotional crisis.
Co-written by Tariq and Ahmed, Mogul Mowgli is a deeply personal reflection on legacy and inheritance, both cultural and familial. Anchored in a story about reconciliation and steeped in Pakistani folklore, poetry, and music, the film explores trauma and what it means to exist in, escape from, and feel lost in multiple worlds.
Programme note by Mehek Seyid, originally published Spring 2021
Content advisory: disturbing scenes related to serious illness, depictions of racism, references to violence against women, sexual content, coarse language