Zulfikar's government was overthrown in a military coup; he was jailed and hanged. Including Benazir, three of his four politically outspoken children met violent deaths. Benazir's niece, Fatima, daughter of Murtaza, Zulfikar's son, holds her aunt "morally responsible" for Murtaza's death.
But enough about family feuds. Directors Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara have enough on their hands condensing 63 years of Pakistani politics - and Benazir's role in them - to 111 minutes.
Even one familiar with the creation of the Muslim state, the sixth-most-populous nation in the world, is made dizzy by the speed at which the filmmakers raced across the geopolitical landscape to provide background for their subject. Frequently the velocity of the graphics and voice-overs makes the information hard to assimilate.
Characterized as a beneficiary of her father's refusal to deny his daughter the prerogatives he would extend to his sons, Benazir was not required to wear a burqa. She was educated in the West, first at Harvard and then at Oxford. "My daughter will make me more proud than Indira [Gandhi] made her father," said Zulfikar, comparing Benazir to India's prime minister.
The filmmakers use pop music from the '60s and '70s to telegraph Benazir's exposure to equal-rights marches and antiwar protests. She speaks of the United States as "the first environment where I saw women as full participants in society." Movie-star beautiful - think of Sophia Loren in a head scarf - the charismatic Benazir was on many levels a threat to those who overthrew Zulfikar.
After her father's execution, she spent six years variously under house arrest and imprisonment. Unintimidated by Gen. Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, who toppled her father's government, she embarked on a mission to restore democracy to her homeland. On a platform of "reconciliation, not retribution," she campaigned for prime minister.
Preempting attacks on her marital status, she agreed to an arranged marriage with playboy Asif Ali Zardari. Her would-be political bodyguard became a liability when Bhutto enemies smeared him as "Mr. 10 Per Cent," a man who skimmed money from trade deals and diverted a percentage to his Swiss bank accounts.
While their subject is fascinating and her nation's role in propping up the Taliban has had repercussions from New York to India, the filmmakers don't find a straightforward way to tell Bhutto's story. Each of the many talking heads, including New York Times reporter John Burns, provides a small piece of the Bhutto mosaic. But by movie's end, the likeness is still incomplete.
Contact movie critic Carrie Rickey at 215-854-5402 or email@example.com. Read her blog, "Flickgrrl," at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/flickgrrl/.