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Naseem (1995)

| Drama
The delicate relationship between a 15-year-old girl and her grandfather is used to describe how the growing political tensions between Muslems and Hindus in 1992 led to the destruction of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kaifi Azmi ...
Naseem's Grandfather
...
Naseem
Seema Kelkar ...
Naseem's Grandmother
...
Religious Fundamentalist
Salim Shah ...
Mushtaq
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Storyline

The delicate relationship between a 15-year-old girl and her grandfather is used to describe how the growing political tensions between Muslems and Hindus in 1992 led to the destruction of a medieval Muslim mosque and subsequently, violent rioting in the streets of Bombay. Naseem (urdu: sahar) means Morning breeze, and charts the story of a young school going girl Naseem in the months leading up to the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. She shares deep and loving bond with his ill grandfather who represents the era of communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims in India, as he fondly recalls the times he spent in pre-Independent Agra. As communal tension erupts in the city of Bombay, Naseem get increasingly bewildered by changing dynamics at her school and in the neighborhood, while her grandfather watches helplessly at a city getting deeply divided over the Babri Masjid issue. Written by Rashid Ashraf (zest70pk@gmail.com)

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Drama

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The Morning Breeze  »

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User Reviews

A 'TRAUMATIZED' MORNING BREEZE
7 July 2002 | by (Calcutta, India) – See all my reviews

This curiously less-mentioned film by noted Indian filmmaker Sayeed Akhtar Mirza portrays the life and agony of a Muslim girl (Naseem which means 'morning breeze' in Urdu) and her family in the backdrop of tumultuous and sordid communal situation of India during the time of the infamous event of Ayodya's Babri Masjid demolition by the Hindu fundamentalists in India. The film deftly captures the deteriorating communal situation during the few months before that infamous event symptomatically with the deteriorating health condition of Naseem's grandfather, who is the (ailing) symbol of knowledge and tolerance in the film, (performed incredibly well by the noted Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi) and significantly grandfather died on 6th December 1992, the day of Babri Masjid demolition. The film Naseem's morbid sort of account of the communal situation in India is a harrowing truth in India but this truth is surprisingly not well represented in Indian cinema. This film shows how film as a mass media and an art form can play a sincere and honest role in bringing out the immensely important but unpleasant truth. Director Sayeed Akhtar Mirza, who is a disciple of Ritwik Ghatak, is familiar for his sincere films in a narrative style with touches of Ghatak in it. This film is an extension of his style. Film Naseem revolves around a Muslim family depicting their sense of insecurity as a minority community in the backdrop of rising Hindu fundamentalism in India. I do not know any such Indian film that depicted this scenario from the minority community point of view. The performances of each of the characters are truly excellent but I would like to mention once again the performance of the noted Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi. Azmi's portrayal the character of an ailing grandfather symbolizing the ailing tolerant soul of India leaves a permanent imprint in the minds of the viewer. Naseem is a tender schoolgirl who goes through all the tumults created by the worsening communal situation and mutual mistrust among the two communities, the cause and true extent of which is hardly understandable to her. She can only watch helplessly the falling bridges between the two communities (marked by the death of her Hindu mausi or aunt) and the rise of intolerance in her own community. Young Mayuri Kango's commendable performance in the title role has given the film a new dimension. The characters of Naseem's brother Mushtaq (played here by Salim Shah) and his friend epitomize the intolerant youth section of the community who tend to overwhelmed by the intolerance of the other side. Naseem's parents are perfect examples of the passive but agonized average persons who can only watch the events with great anxiety and hope for the better time to come.

The camera work is excellent though the director seemed lesser concerned in this respect than his other films. Director seems to be more focussed on the content of the film. To a maverick critic this film may be termed as rhetoric one with less artistic content in it. But for me the film as an essential one and marks the sense of social responsibility of the director (even though with its rhetoric content) in the present socio-political situation of India.


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