Tag Archives: Harud

The Country With A ‘Balancing Office’: Suvaid Yaseen

Guest Post by Suvaid Yaseen

Of late there has been a rising trend of Kashmiris – professionals, artists, writers, musicians et al presenting their works on Kashmir on a much wider level than before. The larger impression that comes out of it all is that the narrative has been taken up by the people for themselves. A welcome contrast to outsiders flying in and telling us what we want, how we think, and what is actually good for us.

So, every time a Kashmiri artist is presenting his/her work on Kashmir, the expectations among Kashmiris tend to go up. People start feeling that finally their narrative, of how they saw the things, what they went through, would be told to the world, bereft of the lenses of security paradigm through which Kashmir has been usually viewed  –  a strategic territory, with not-so-strategic, dispensable people.

This can be fortunate as well as unfortunate. On one hand there is a ready audience to appreciate and applaud your work. On the other hand there are expectations to ‘perform’. For the artists themselves, there are additional pressures of ‘balancing’ and having a ‘non-biased’ view from the other side.

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Iranian filmmaking in Kashmiri autumn

Set in 2002, shot in 2009, Aamir Bashir’s film Harud will be in select PVR cinemas on Friday, 27 July. Harud is clearly inspired by Iranian films which manage to say a lot without saying much. Like a lot of Iranian cinema, a child is at the centre of the film. The brilliant acting by Shahnawaz Bhat, who plays the protagonist Rafiq, makes the film. In the expressions on his face there is ambiguity and wonderment as much as there is humiliation, helplessness and a desire to do something to change things around him. Here is a film about Kashmir that does not begin with beautiful landscape and does not end with a big encounter between militants and forces. This is not a film that seeks to explain the Kashmir conflict – rather, it takes you inside the lives of ordinary people and how they faced the madness of a conflict. Regardless of what your views on Kashmir are, Harud succeeds in making you empathise with Rafiq and others around him. That, for any narrative on Kashmir, is no small achievement.

Read more about the film in Time Out and ArtViewBlog. Here are some interesting interviews of the director.