From directors Senain Kheshgi and Geeta V. Patel comes PROJECT KASHMIR--a feature documentary in which the directors, two American friends from opposite sides of the divide, investigate the...
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From directors Senain Kheshgi and Geeta V. Patel comes PROJECT KASHMIR--a feature documentary in which the directors, two American friends from opposite sides of the divide, investigate the war in Kashmir and find their friendship tested over deeply rooted political, cultural and religious biases they never had to face in the U.S. PROJECT KASHMIR explores war between countries and war within oneself by delving into the fraught lives of young people caught in the social/political conflict of one of the most beautiful, and most deadly, places on earth--Kashmir.
Beautifully lensed by Academy Award® winner, Ross Kauffman, the film captures the stunning beauty of Kashmir, while expertly interweaving deeply moving personal stories of Kashmiris with those of the two American women, who strive to reconcile their ethnic and religious heritage with the violence that haunts their homeland.
This film has a sophisticated storytelling that reminds me of the European cinema I love so much. It's really a special documentary in so many ways. Certain moments felt like the pages of a great novel, or an epic scripted film. I'm tired of documentaries and films (in the US) that are predictable and what I call "safe". You know "safe": fast-paced, extremely clear, and all pretty in the end so you feel good. These filmmakers are daring and very smart. They know that the subject matter in Kashmir and most warzones is controversial, so they created a film that dwells on the gray area, the stuff that is unsettling and unspoken. After some searching around, I learned that this film was really groundbreaking-- it was the first major film to bridge the communities in Kashmir. It's not an academic film and I think this is a shock to the system for people watching it for information. we are spoiled with information and the notion that it makes complicated stuff make sense. This film blew my mind! I wish more filmmakers would be brave enough to spend 8 years (!) of their lives to understand conflicts like this and then make a film that doesn't brag about what they know, but instead makes us think! I read an interview with the filmmakers, who confirmed what I was thinking. They wanted to make an emotional, obtuse film that could be interpreted and leave the audience unsettled. They didn't want to go into the politics and details since they wanted to deal with "the hearts, not the heads". Bravo, bravo! Can Ms. Patel and Kheshgi please make a film for every misunderstood part of the world? Please! This is a film that throws us into the heads of the characters and challenges us to come to our own conclusions. I also love the thriller-like music and pace. Best film I've seen this year, and yet barely anyone has heard of it! I have a newfound respect for ITVS and PBS for making this happen.
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