Nawazuddin on navigating his role in Bangladeshi director Farooki’s satire No Land’s Man, which is nominated at Busan International Film Festival
Theirs is a friendship that started at international film festivals, bolstered by their love for cinema and deep admiration for each other’s works. It was only a matter of time before Nawazuddin Siddiqui and acclaimed Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki would join their creative forces for a film. No Land’s Man is the manifestation of their desire to work with one another. “His movies are engaging, and can’t be categorised as art or commercial films, or festival films,” begins Siddiqui.
Siddiqui with Farooki (in cap) on the last day of the film’s shoot
No Land’s Man, shot in New York and Sydney, studies identity crisis through the story of a South Asian man who struggles to find a place that he can call home. The film is among the seven nominees for the Kim Jiseok Award at the Busan International Film Festival that will kick off on October 6. “My character finds himself questioning where he belongs. It’s a common question that can arise in anybody’s mind. We often want to feel [a sense of belonging]. This subject is relevant in today’s day and age. I didn’t undergo any prep for this character; all I had to do was feel his journey.” He, however, admits the first few days were a struggle. “Initially, I had a problem with the English dialogues. But Mostofa helped me throughout. Once I get the rhythm of the character, [the language] doesn’t matter.”
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The actor says it was essential to give a satirical treatment to the story, given its central theme. “If a story is simple, you must add twists and turns. [Conversely], complicated stories must be simplified. This is one of the reasons we felt the subject should be told satirically so that people could enjoy it, and grasp its essence.” Siddiqui is proud that his film is in the running with Aparna Sen’s The Rapist at the prestigious festival. “[The Rapist] was offered to me. However, I couldn’t do it because of date issues. Aparna Sen is a terrific director; I am sure it’s a well-made film.”
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