|Index||5 reviews in total|
Incredible film that raised my awareness about a civil conflict I was barely aware of due to the lack of media on it in the U.S. I have so much respect for the filmmakers who overcame their own differences (one being Hindu and one being Muslim) and finding the courage to subject themselves to a world that is full of paradox and uncertainty. If more people did this, the world would be a better place. Beyond that, the cinematography was incredible. I kept thinking that it is such a shame this place is torn by conflict. If not, it would probably be a vacation destination for it's beauty alone. I only hope that this file gets more exposure to the world and inspires others to perform similar acts.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Two US-women with Indian roots, one Muslim, one Hindu, set off to KAshmir, India, to discover and film how things are, over there, since they know the controversy between the two groups from their relatives back home, in the USA. They meet and interview all sorts of people and are witness of the very cruel suppression of the populace by the all-powerful Indian army. They meet non-prejudiced people from both sides, and accompany a Hindu lady friend to her home-village, which the family has left. The house is destroyed, but the former Muslim neighbours are still there and invite the party to tea. The Hindu girl first refuses but in the end accepts and seems to be able to cope with the situation. The message the viewer seems to get is, that it is the well-to-do Hindu community who are most bitter, having to have given up their former power and privileges, due to the actions of Muslim terrorist groups from Pakistan, right across the border. During their stay, the two filmers seem to more and more become party in the discussions and controversies between the two groups and start reflecting between themselves the same difficulties and tend to take sides, each for her own community. Not a very encouraging idea. Nevertheless a very courageous movie, since the two directors overcame their difficulties and produced the movie in the end. (seen at IDFA, Amsterdam, November 2008)
Caught this last night on PBS - after some googling I realized it was a
shortened version of the feature for TV. That was fine by me though I'd
love to see it in it's entirety.
I really didn't know what to expect going in - I have a knowledge of the area being discussed but could probably use a history brush up. The cinematography alone is worth the watch - gorgeous shots of the land and its people - you can tell the directors have a love for their subject.
Story was connected and beautifully told - does anyone know what happened to the film's star crossed lovers?! Really got some painfully honest moments on film - heartbreaking but not in a "ugh we know this is milked for a doc" feeling.
I imagine Kashmir is a very complex topic with many stories to tell but I 100% recommend watching this story.
I went for the movie with high expectations; however other than
fantastic visuals of the Kashmir valley, this documentary doesn't offer
much else. It is very clear how little the film makers understand about
the Kashmir issue. Their sense of film making is also very naive.
Several of their comments are hilariously ignorant. The locals,
however, are excellent and their honesty is genuine. The Hindu lady
whom they contacted in the film is enigmatic.
On the positive side, the visuals are astounding and will probably make you wish to visit the place as soon as possible. The film makers have also chosen a 'safe' topic which will arouse the interest of people; however they haven't done justice to it. The movie is marketed as an Indian and a Pakistani perspective on Kashmir; however the film is completely based on the Indian side of Kashmir with no reference to the Pakistani side; and the film makers have chosen to completely ignore the Chinese side (including the map).
So my overall verdict is that this movie is great to watch for the scenery but is shallow and one should not expect much insight.
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