Of all the flattering headlines that greeted the release this month of the first Pakistani film shown in India in four decades, one stuck in the mind of its director, Shoaib Mansoor.
“We didn’t know that Pakistan had such good houses,” the headline said, Mr. Mansoor recalled in an interview here.
It was a striking reminder of how little people in India know about their neighbors across the border.
For 43 years no Pakistan-made film had been distributed commercially to movie theaters in India until the opening here of Mr. Mansoor’s movie, “Khuda Kay Liye” (“In the Name of God”). That absence has contributed to widespread ignorance in India about contemporary Pakistan, a country set apart by such entrenched political hostility that few Indians have visited it.
The release of the film, which broke all box office records in Pakistan last year, was hailed here as a significant moment in the slowly progressing India-Pakistan peace talks.