‘I have lived in Kashmir, yet I’m an outsider'
Amidst the present round of raised voices over Kashmir, a film showcasing the struggle of a Kashmiri family to cope with the loss of a young son will be screened in the city on Wednesday.mumbai Updated: Oct 27, 2010 01:35 IST
Amidst the present round of raised voices over Kashmir, a film showcasing the struggle of a Kashmiri family to cope with the loss of a young son will be screened in the city on Wednesday.
Harud (Autumn), which has already made its debut at international film festivals in Toronto and London, revolves around Rafiq, who wants to become a militant when his elder brother, a tourist photographer, disappears one day.
After a failed attempt to cross into Pakistan, Rafiq returns home and finds his brother’s old camera and his life changes forever.
Even as the film gives voice to the angst of a young Kashmiri through Rafiq’s character, director Aamir Bashir believes that country needs to hear the youth of Kashmir and their protest.
“Most of them were born after the insurgency started and have seen nothing but violence. Dismissing them as mindless for their leaderless protest is unfair,” said Bashir (40), who left Kashmir in 1990 to study in Delhi.
“Anybody who has been talking about Kashmir, with a point of view that is different from the state is dismissed as the lunatic fringe. When Arundhati Roy won the Booker prize, there was immense pride for her by the whole nation. Now, when she says something about Kashmir, why is she termed an anti-national?” he asked.
Having acted in films such as A Wednesday, he thought of directing a film when in 2003 he witnessed a mad rush in Kashmir to own mobile phones.
“The mobile phones had just been launched and there were long lines to get a connection. It seemed people were looking for mobile phones to provide them with some security in a violent state like Kashmir, where one would not know if he would return home safely,” he said.
“I have lived in Kashmir and yet I am an outsider. There is some distance between Kashmir and me and I think that was essential for me to tell the story, rather than me being the story myself,” said Bashir, who last visited the state during the month long shoot last November.
Bashir hopes to screen the film in Kashmir especially for those involved in its making.
“I hope it’s a film that makes people empathise with the Kashmiris.”
(Harud will be screened at Chandan Cinema, Juhu, at 5.30 pm on Wednesday as part of the Mumbai Film Festival organised by MAMI)