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Review Kashmiriyat (Short Film)

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Producer- Ashutosh PanditDirector- Divyanshu Pandit

Star Cast- Zarrina Wahab, Naveen Pandit, Anshul Trivedi and Abhay Bhargava

Genre- Social

Rating- *** (Three Stars)

Jyothi Venkatesh

After watching the dreary and painful conflict of Kashmir in films like Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider to Hamid by Aijaz Khan and the recent Praveen Morchhale’s pure art house Widow of Silence and Vinod Chopra’s Shikara, we now have the quaimtn short film called Kashmiriyat which has been written and directed by Divyansh Pandit and produced by Wild Buffaloes Entertainment and Ashutosh Pandit.

Set in the disputed valley of India and a part of which is captured by Pakistan, Kashmiriyat is a short film which essentially revolves around a doting mother Muneera Anwar (Zarina Wahab) and her son Liyaqat (Naveen) which encompasses religious, political as well as social conflicts mushrooming in the region.

The cruelty and murder of humanity during the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits (1985–1995), especially the horror of 19 January 1990, following the brutal persecution and threats by radical Islamists and militants in the valley may seem very excruciating to the uninitiated, but bears a cruel and brutal testimony to the injustice which has been meted out to the sons of the soil-the poor Kashmiri Pandits whom have been emotionally as well as physically uprooted from their soil overnight.

While the voices that are driven by agenda and a major section of the media have always portrayed a typical image of Kashmir, its people and the Indian Army, what is refreshingly different about this gem of a short film is the fact that through the film, the sensitive director, who is a Kashmiri himself, has set out to put out a perspective that has never been portrayed earlier any time in any mainstream, by any film which has dealt with the so called conflict after the country derived its Independence 73 years ago.

While Zarina Wahab is the whole and soul of the heartwarming film which shows the conflict between the patriotic mother and the wayward son who is led astray, Naveen Pandita who plays the role of the son Liyaqat lends a lot of weight to his complex role. Abhay Bhargava who plays the Pakistani Minister is just about okay but his role does not have any prominence. Anshul Trivedi scores in his role as the terrorist Altaf and his scene with the child is very endearing.The short film, which one can watch on youtube and has a duration of 26 minutes, is touching, at times edgy and overall drives home the signal that it is futile to keep hatred for posterity

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