Kashmir kaleidoscope

Mar 05, 2013, 00:52 IST | Ruchika Kher

The NCPA Fresh Pix Series began as a platform to cultivate an audience for regional and Indie cinema that often don't reach the lay audience outside of the film festival circuit. This time around, they focus on stories about Kashmir with the screening of Harud and She Of Four Names. Ruchika Kher spoke to both directors

For someone, who was born and brought up in Kashmir, telling a story about the valley, where innumerable tales are waiting to be told, is but natural. Hence, when actor Aamir Bashir decided to don the director’s hat, he helmed Harud, which means autumn.

A still from the film

“I am from Kashmir, so I was familiar with many stories from the state. Also, I realised that mostly Kashmir is used as either a sub-plot or a background in films for locations; not many stories about the people have come out, so, I decided to tell one such story,” shares Bashir.

Harud is a 99-minute film about Rafiq and his family, who struggle to come to terms with the loss of his older brother Tauqir. A tourist photographer, Tauqir is one of the thousands of young men who have disappeared since the onset of the militant insurgency in Kashmir.

Aamir Bashir

While the film is in Hindi, it is shot at various locations across the state. “Every film is difficult to make but shooting in Kashmir has its specific problems. The government doesn’t back you; there is also the threat of attacks. So while, we enjoyed making the film, it was a challenge,” he says.

On March 6, 6.30 pm
At Little Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22824567

She of four Names
The 14th century woman mystic and poet, Lal Ded is one of Kashmir’s most important cultural figures and She Of Four Names, a film directed by actress Meeta Vasisht, takes a view of her influence in the wrap and weft of life in Kashmir today.

A still from the film

“It’s a phenomenal story of a phenomenal person. Even though she wrote her poetry around 700 years ago, people still refer to it. Her poetry is part of their everyday life.

Her words had so much power that she was revered by Hindu and Muslims,” says Vasisht, who met people in Kashmir and spoke to them about the poet for the docu-feature.

Meeta Vasisht

The film was an offshoot of a play, Lal Ded, written by Vishnu Mathur and Rakesh Jha, with Vasisht. During the research for the play, Vasisht realised that certain facets of the story would come across better only in a film.

“When we did the play, there were a few visual spaces that were forming in front of my eyes, images that I felt would only look good in a cinematic medium.

It’s how the idea of this film emerged. The play took three years of research and this gave me an introduction to Lal Ded’s poetry. But while I was researching for the film, I discovered much more about her,” she recalls.

On March 7, 6.30 pm
At Little Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22824567

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