Contradictions are what come to mind when we think of Kashmir. A land with extraordinary beauty, so much so that it was dubbed to be heaven on Earth. A land with At the very same time, a land riddled with conflict and contention, marred with bloodshed and violence for decades. As Indians, our fascination with Kashmir remains as alive as ever, and our popular culture is a direct reflection of that. There are a number of works concerning the history and politics of Kashmir, the struggles of the Kashmiris and their aspirations. Above everything else, these pieces of art help us try to grasp its complex reality. Here are some such interesting movies on Kashmir, which offer us various glimpses into the land and its people.
Director Aamir Bashir’s directorial debut, Harud (Autumn) takes us through the story of a family living in conflict-laden Kashmir. It explores the after-effects of the turbulent incidents in the region on the lives of innocent people, who become embroiled in a life of terror and violence.
The third of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare trilogy, Haider is an adaptation of Hamlet, set against the backdrop of Kashmir. It shows us the sufferings of the people during the period of insurgency in the 1990s. With a star-studded cast featuring Tabu, Shahid Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon and Shraddha Kapoor among others, this movie is a must watch.
Shikara was directed and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The 2020 film brings forth the story of the Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s, that is the period of insurgency, and the subsequent exodus of the Pandits from the valley. The plot revolves around a couple belonging to the Pandit community, and how their lives are affected by the larger happenings around them.
Marking Shoojit Sircar’s directorial debut, Yahaan was a war-centric romance drama set in the midst of the conflict between the Indian army and Kashmiri militants. It is yet another narrative about how larger incidents like war and conflict affect the natural course of human emotions and relationships, making it difficult to remain humane in times of crisis.
Tahaan, directed by Santosh Sivan, offers a rather refreshing perspective into the land of Kashmir. It is a story centering a small boy, who is blissfully oblivious of the grave situations surrounding him, but more perceptive than the elders engaged in those very gruesome happenings. The film was screened at a number of international film festivals, and won some very prestigious awards including a High Commendation at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
A courtroom drama in the context of the insurgency, Shaurya is a film that throws up the important question of the plight of the minorities. It features some amazing performances by Kay Kay Menon, Rahul Bose, Javed Jaffery and Minisha Lamba, and is directed by Samar Khan.
The Mani Ratnam classic is a romantic thriller that deals with the nationalist narrative of the Kashmir issue. The titular character is in search of her husband, a R.A.W agent who is abducted by militant forces in Kashmir. What unfolds is a stirring narrative of love, conflict and despair.
Written and directed by Piyush Jha, Sikandar tells the story of a teenager who finds himself wound up in the complex web laid out by militants, the army, politicians and other big names in the field. The film explores the journey of innocent civilians who resort to drastic means often by coercion rather than by choice.
9. Mission Kashmir
Another film by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Mission Kashmir is the story of a man orphaned at a young age, who takes to radical means to avenge his parents’ death. It tries to paint an empathetic portrait of the lives of children caught up in war.
Lastly, this romantic thriller by Kunal Kohli traces the lives of lovers who find themselves torn between their inner conflicts as much as that which surrounds them. Starring Aamir Khan as the anti-hero and Kaajol in the lead, the 2006 film won a number of national awards.
We hope you have a good time watching these interesting movies on Kashmir! How many of them have you watched?