“Salam” is a feature length documentary about the Nobel prize winning Pakistani physicist, Abdus Salam. The film reveals the extraordinary life of the charismatic Abdus Salam, in all its color, vitality and tragedy. It is the story of a man who traversed two worlds with ease: one of science and religion, modernity and tradition, war and peace and obscurity and celebrity.
When he won the Nobel prize in 1979, he became the very first Pakistani to achieve this distinction, and only the fourth from the subcontinent.
Born in 1926 in a remote village in Punjab, British India, Salam was a child prodigy. He came from humble beginnings, growing up in a small brick house with a large family of eleven. While Salam’s legacy looms large in the world of physics, he is largely forgotten in Pakistan because of his faith. Children do not read about him and he is still vilified and maligned by right wing clerics for being a “Qadiani”—a derogatory term for someone belonging to the Ahmadiyya community.
By telling this complex story of a man who due to extremism could not strengthen his people as he so deeply desired, the film draws attention to the state of affairs in the world today, where knowledge is sacrificed at the altar of ignorance and intolerance, depriving the coming generation of all that is precious.