Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kashmir in Kerala film fest

I spent this Sunday doing nothing but watching films and just films. Traveled from Cochin to Trivandrum to catch some short films made by Kashmiris on the "Pandit" experience.

First up was in "showcase" segment Siddharth Gigoo's The Last Day (12 min.). Siddharth Gigoo was already was a poet, then a novelist and now he is a filmmaker. The scene he picked to shoot is something that a lot a pandit's witnessed and can relate to. Old pandits slow dying in Jammu with fading memories of Kashmir. The execution is simple. Not bad for a first attempt.




Second up was Rajesh Jala's 23 Winters (30 min.), competing in 'Fiction' category. The story follows the "Back to Kashmir" trip of a pandit in Delhi named Bhota (a popular nickname among pandits of a certain generation) who is suffering from schizophrenia. It makes strong use of visuals and sounds to put the viewer in the mind of the protagonist. The experience is unnerving. Specially when you know it is not fiction.




The director was present at the function, so later had a little chat with him over a coffee (which he generously sponsored). Rajesh Jala was living with the real life protagonist Bhota as a neighbor in a Delhi camp for nine years. When he started shooting him last year, he didn't know Bhota was going to visit Kashmir and have a breakdown. Rajesh went back to Kashmir to trace him and get him medical help.

I could hear sneers in the hall during the screening. Rajesh probably heard that. Even though I didn't ask, he did mention its not a film for everyone and its the only way he could have made this film.

The use of radio sounds in the film reminded me of a little video I made around 4 years ago:



In addition to these two movies, there was Firdous/Paradise (11 min) by Tushar Digambar More. What this film offers is the 'military' experience of Kashmir. The episode takes place inside an abandoned Pandit house where a group of troops and a local Muslim villager, under some sort of protective custody, take shelter during a "cordon and search" operation. Here they share a brief conversation on the former owners of the house. By the end of the story we realize, unknown to him, the helpful and decent villager has lost his house to the operation.



The surprise for me in this little film was a sequence in which an officer goes through an old family album he finds in the house. The bits and pieces from this blog have again helped someone fill a gap.

A screenshot from the film

Photograph of of a Kashmiri Pandit Family taken in front of their farm house at a stones throw from the famous Neolithic site of Burzahom, Kashmir in 1930s.
Shared by a reader, Man Mohan Munshi Ji, in 2010
Although the makers didn't give credit or a line of thanks. Some of those images are from this this blog. Some from vintage books. Some shared generously by readers from their private albums.

-0-

Oddly enough there was a Bulgarian film too that somehow reminded me of Kashmir. Tzvetanka by Youlian Tabakov (66 min). This stylish documentary tells the story of modern Bulgaria, mapping it to the events in the life of a girl born in a bourgeois family just before World War 2. By the end of the war, her idyllic life is destroyed with the coming of communist regime. The regime ends in 1989, democracy comes, she thinks the world will now be a better place. It turns out to be a mirage. She realizes world is still the same. It's the same men from the regime now championing the cause of democracy. Revolution came and nothing changed. It is clear that this woman has seen a lot in her life and yet her love for life is unshakable and inspiring.

 
-0-
-0-
After catching these films (and around 15 others), I headed further south to Kanyakumari. Where I was greeted by this:



-0-

2 comments:

  1. Thank you sharing this! Especially the Bulgarian film and the photo album bit.... I hope you know how important your blog is for the history of Kashmir.... Can never thank you enough... My son is learning about his roots from you....Keep up the brilliant work! It is phenomenal...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lucky you to be attending this festival!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Content protected by

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Which it basically means is: You are free to share anything you may find here. No need to seek permission explicitly. Also you are free to re-use it for non-commercial purposes provided you let others use your work for free non-commercial purposes. This blog was started with the intention of sharing information for free. But, in case of commercial use, do seek a permission first. In all cases, giving proper credit to the blog/source is the proper decent thing to do, let other people know where you found it. Do not stifle information.

Categories

10th century (1) 12th century (1) 15th century (1) 1760 (1) 1770 (1) 1821 (1) 1823 (1) 1835 (1) 1840 (1) 1851 (1) 1854 (3) 1858 (1) 1859 (2) 1862 (1) 1864 (2) 1866 (1) 1868 (2) 1870 (2) 1874 (2) 1875 (1) 1877 (4) 1879 (1) 1881 (3) 1882 (1) 1883 (1) 1884 (1) 1885 (1) 1888 (1) 1890 (1) 1891 (2) 1892 (2) 1893 (1) 1895 (6) 1897 (1) 18th century (1) 19 January (2) 1900 (2) 1901 (1) 1902 (2) 1903 (5) 1904 (2) 1905 (1) 1906 (5) 1907 (4) 1908 (4) 1909 (2) 1910 (1) 1911 (2) 1912 (2) 1913 (2) 1914 (1) 1915 (6) 1916 (2) 1917 (2) 1918 (1) 1919 (1) 1920 (10) 1920s (10) 1921 (1) 1922 (3) 1923 (1) 1925 (2) 1926 (4) 1927 (2) 1928 (1) 1929 (2) 1930s (4) 1931 (3) 1933 (1) 1934 (3) 1935 (2) 1938 (2) 1939 (1) 1940 (1) 1940s (3) 1944 (4) 1945 (2) 1946 (4) 1947 (13) 1948 (14) 1949 (1) 1950s (9) 1951 (2) 1952 (3) 1953 (2) 1954 (1) 1955 (2) 1956 (5) 1957 (8) 1958 (3) 1959 (1) 1960 (2) 1960s (6) 1961 (1) 1962 (1) 1963 (1) 1964 (1) 1965 (1) 1967 (1) 1969 (5) 1971 (1) 1973 (1) 1975 (1) 1976 (1) 1977 (2) 1978 (2) 1979 (1) 1980 (1) 1980s (3) 1981 (1) 1982 (1) 1983 (4) 1987 (1) 1988 (1) 1989 (4) 1990 (18) 1992 (1) 2010 (2) 2014 (11) 21 January (1) 26 January (1) 70s (1) 7th century (1) 90s (1) 9th century (1) A Kashmiri Tourist in Kashmir (67) A Kashmiri Tourist in Ladakh (7) abhinavgupta (3) afghan (3) aishmukam (1) Akhnoor (3) Ali Kadal (3) all Kashmiris (1) amarnath (4) Amira Kadal (2) ancient (12) angrez (68) angry (2) animals (2) anomalous dreams (55) archeology (4) architecture (21) arnimaal (2) art (49) astronomy (1) audio (1) autumn (3) avantipur (5) azad (2) baazigar (3) back log (1) bagh-i-sundar balla Chattabal (16) Bakarwal (1) bakers (1) Balti (1) bandipora (1) bangladeshi (1) Banihal (2) baramulla (6) bc road (1) bekal kalaam (51) Bhaderwah (2) Bhand Pather (7) birds (3) Biscoe School (10) bits and pieces (88) boatmen (6) bookmarks (1) books (68) border (1) bot (3) bridges/kadal (16) british raj (1) Bu'nyul (2) buddhism (7) budshah (6) bulbul (1) bund (2) Burzahom (3) cave (1) census (1) chanapora (1) change log (4) chapyin khor (2) cheen (3) Chenab (4) children (3) children's books (5) Chinar (7) Cinema Hall (3) collectible (11) comedy (5) comic (7) communists (2) confused art (5) confused ethnicity (2) confused geography (6) confused history (5) confused language (1) confused names (2) confused people (1) confused religion (2) copy for tourist brochure (12) culture (10) dal (4) Dal Lake (17) dance (17) darbarmov (1) days (2) death (1) dilli (2) discovery (1) doon (3) downtown (2) drama (1) dress (8) duggar (1) engineering (1) environment (1) erotica (5) fakir (4) family albums (7) family histories (17) farmer (2) farsi (23) fashinas'foo't (3) Fateh Kadal (3) feast (2) festival (3) first war (6) flowers (1) folkdance (1) folksongs (9) folktales (8) food (58) forts (1) free books (29) fruits (1) funny (19) Gabba (3) gad (5) game (7) Ganpatyar (2) Garden (28) ghat (2) Ghost Stories (7) Gilgit (1) glass (1) Good man the Laltain (1) gor boi (1) graffiti (2) guest posts (107) guide book (5) gujjar (1) Gulmarg (19) Haar (2) habba kadal (11) Habba Khatoon (6) haenz (4) hair (1) hakh (1) Harwan (5) hazratbal (7) Henri Cartier-Bresson (1) herat (5) hindustaan (21) hindustaantiPaekistaan (8) History (125) hoho (2) hoon (2) house (21) houseboat (13) Hunza (1) hypertextuality (5) hyundTiMusalmaan (13) id (1) idols (1) illustrations (29) immigrant tales (18) in Kashmir (20) index (1) indus (1) inscriptions (1) interview (2) iran (3) Ishber (2) Jammu (75) jeeliDal (5) jesus (1) jewiz (1) jhelum (13) kabalis (2) kafirs (1) kakaz (2) kalheer (1) Kali Mandar (1) kandur (14) kangir (9) Karan Nagar (1) karewa (1) kargil (2) karr'e (2) kashmir in summer (2) Kashmiri Beauty (28) Kashmirispotting (18) kashmiriyat discourse (1) kashmirstrotram (1) kaula charsi (1) Kausar Nag (1) Kaw (3) khandar (3) Kharyaar (3) Khilanmarg (1) khos (1) khrew (1) kirkyet (1) Kishtwar (2) kitchen (1) kong posh (1) Kongdoor (1) kotar (1) kral (1) kralkhod (3) kul (1) Ladakh (25) lafaz (1) Lake (4) Lal Chowk (4) Lal Ded (18) land (1) language (45) leelas (1) leh (1) letters (1) liddarwat (1) list (3) literature (1) live (1) location (1) love (7) lyek (5) lyrics (38) maaz (1) madin sahib (2) Mahjoor (5) Mahmud Gami (5) mahrin (1) manasbal (3) mapping Rajatarangini (5) Maps (36) marriage (18) martand (8) mas (1) masjid (2) mattan (1) me'chu'na'koshur'tagaan (3) mekhal (1) metaphysical star wars (16) migrant (9) Militia (1) missionaries (7) Mix Bag (8) Mohra (1) money (2) Morning (1) mosque (2) mountains (5) mout (1) mughals (18) museum (3) Music (54) naag (3) naav (1) Nadim (7) nadru (2) naga (2) nagin (5) nalla-e-mar (2) namaaz (1) Namda (1) nautch (9) news (5) newsreel (1) NH1-A (13) nohor (4) nostalgia (3) notes on Shalimar the Clown (4) numbers (2) Nund Ryosh (8) odd (21) old hotels (2) oral bits (16) originals (1) ornament (9) pahalgam (1) paintings (53) Pakistan (3) pampore (2) pandit affairs (7) pandits (63) Pandrethan (1) panjyeb (1) parbat (10) Pari Mahal (1) parihaspora (1) parsi (2) partition (1) pashmina (1) pattan (1) pawer'cha (1) persons (4) phaka (2) pheran (1) philim (48) photo (120) pilgrimages (1) pir panjal (3) poem (26) poets (1) polo (1) poonch (1) posh (1) posha (1) postal (2) postcards (20) Prem Nath Bazaz (1) prePaekistaan (2) project (7) proverbs (6) puj waan (2) qazigund (1) questions (1) radio (3) Rahi (1) Rajatarangini (15) Rajouri (2) ramayan (1) rare articles (1) rare out-of-print (6) rasul mir (2) read (5) recording (1) reenactment (8) religion (19) remembrance (4) renovation (1) reshi (1) Residency Road (1) retracing (1) riddle (1) riddles (3) rituals (2) river-life (9) rivers (9) road (1) roos (3) rop bhavani (1) ruins (5) sacred spaces (1) saints (4) salesmanship (1) samad mir (1) samawar (1) sangam (1) sanghi batta (1) sanskrit (6) saqi (1) saruf (1) School (9) sculpture (6) second war (1) See (3) Shadipur (2) shafa (3) Shah Hamadan (1) Shalimar Bagh (7) Shankracharya (3) sharda (4) shaveratri (2) shawl (8) she (1) shikara (1) shikari (2) shiraz (1) shiv (6) shivratri (4) Shorab (2) shrine (4) Sikandar (1) sikhsardar (2) snakes (6) snow (6) Sonamarg (2) songs (12) songsforexile (4) sound (3) spring (1) srinagar (12) stamps (2) stones (3) Strange Tales from Tulamula (4) stupa (1) Su (1) sufi (3) swim (5) sylab nama (11) t'song (1) tailor (3) talav (1) talk (7) tanga (1) tcharpoke (1) tchoor hasa hey (2) tea (8) temples (29) The Eternal Pandit (4) then-now (19) they write (1) things that crossed over (14) thingsthatremindmeofkashmir (11) tibet (4) top (1) tradition (7) travel routes (1) travellers in time (2) trees (1) trekking (1) tulmul/khir bhawani (20) tv tyeth (1) udhampur (1) undated (1) Uri (3) vakh (2) valley (1) varmul (1) Vejibror (2) verses (9) Video Dastangoi (3) village (1) Vintage (37) Vintage audio (2) vintage magazines (2) Vintage photos (153) vintage video (13) walnut wood (1) wasteland (1) wazwaan (1) weavers (3) wildlife (2) window (3) winter (8) wodwin janawar (2) wolar (3) women (8) words for paradise (10) Workmanship (35) ya ali (1) ya-khoda-ti-bhagwaan (2) yaarbal (1) yach (1) Yarbal (1) you tube (26) zaar (2) zabarwan (1) zafur (2) Zaina Kadal (5) Zeethyaar (4) zenana (1) zoon (2) zor-e-talwarTiBandook (2) zu (2)