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How music travels from conflict-ridden Pakistan to Kala Ghoda Arts fest

The film was screened as part of Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’s cinema section presented by &Prive, followed by a lively discussion with Menachery.

mumbai Updated: Feb 07, 2018 01:17 IST
Jayati Bhola
Jayati Bhola
Hindustan Times
MUMBAI,HTKGAF,KALA GHODA ARTS FESTIVAL
For the audience, the film was a rare glimpse into life in Pakistan.(RAGUL KRISHNAN/HT PHOTO)

How do you shoot a documentary about music, involving young girls in a conflict-ridden district in Pakistan, with filmmakers working across borders?

Well, that’s the story of Lyari Notes, directed by India’s Miriam Chandy Menachery and Pakistan’s Maheen Zia. The film was screened as part of Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’s cinema section presented by &Prive, followed by a lively discussion with Menachery.

“Through music, you can find a means of expression and a way out of violence. It’s a way of addressing reality and finding a way to survive. It’s an important avenue for the youngsters to use,” Menachery said.

“Shooting was a challenge,” she added, “since we were on either side of the border between India and Pakistan...We were working with minors, in an area which sees a lot of violence. We shot the film in a way that was protective of the group of girls too.”

For the audience, the film was a rare glimpse into life in Pakistan.

“The movie was beautiful. It was real and I could relate to it. Pakistan is not that different from India, and it was easy to emphathise with kids,” said Snehal Shetty, 31, an event manager from Santacruz.

The documentary surprises everyone, Menachery said, smiling. “We’ve screened around the world, and the one thing that comes out of it is how the audience is able to see Pakistan in a new light.”

A lot of the questions from the audience related to whether the girls were okay, and

Menachery was happy to assure everyone that they had secured scholarships to study further. “Yes, it’s a happy film,” she added.

For Coral Ghosh, 22, a freelance writer from Borivali, the most moving moment was when the father of one of the girls cried on screen.

“It showed me that Pakistan isn’t all about violence. There’s so much more to it, and so much music,” she added.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 01:16 IST