Following riots in Gujarat, Arati experiences guilt when she did not open her door to shelter an injured Muslim woman. Her husband, Sanjay, had looted merchandise from shops, and his brother, Devan, had even sexually molested Muslim women. A young lad, Mohsin, leaves the safety of an army-guarded camp to look for his father. Meanwhile Music maestro, Jahangir Khan, faces isolation. Sameer Shaikh and his Hindu wife, Anuradha, decide to re-locate to Delhi. Muneera suspects her Hindu friend, Jyoti, of setting her house on fire, while biased police officers continue oppressing Muslims and five Muslim men find a gun and attempt to seek vengeance. —rAjOo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
'Firaaq', made by first time film-maker Nandita Das on a limited budget, explores the aftermath of India's Hindu-Muslim riots of 2002. Specifically, it explores the complex ways in which members of a community that has committed an atrocity are more or less complicit in what has happened. The film works by telling five parallel stories, and crucially, they all occur once the main killing is over; what we see is how those who have survived deal with what has happened. In pure cinematic terms, it's not the most sophisticated film ever made, nor does it have the most intricate plot; but it's impressive how Das avoids the temptation to reduce her story to mainstream cliché; and thereby finds some insight into the darkest depths of human behaviour.
- Sep 17, 2010
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