“If you don’t mind my asking…”

Here is a lilting song which captures the pain of the Afghan people and asks pertinent questions… simple questions that we often forget to ask. The strumming haunts our minds much after the song is over mainly because these questions remain unanswered and our conscience unclear.

The song is an extract from a documentary KABUL TRANSIT made by David Edwards, Maliha Zulfacar & Gregory Whitmore .

VARIETY reviews the film as “Spare, Unsentimental, Uncompromising”.

The synopsis reads thus – “In the broken cityscape of Kabul, Afghanistan, amid the dust and rubble of war, Westerners & Afghans adjust to the uncertain possibilities of peace. Kabul Transit shuttles through the broken streets of the city, moving between public space and private, listening in on conversations, posing questions, probing the darker alleys mainstream media avoids. The result is a unique cinematic experience — a shifting mosaic of encounters and raconteurs, captured glances and telling gestures, all beautifully shot and woven together by the music and the found sounds of a city sluggishly coming to life. Rejecting the usual device of narration and portraiture, the film asks the viewer to experience Kabul as a newly arrived visitor would — with a freshness born of apprehension on finding oneself in a place that is at once hauntingly strange and altogether familiar.”

More details on http://www.kabultransit.net

Do pass it on. Cheers to cinema that makes a difference!

Hope we can make light to remove at least some of the darkness. Happy Diwali to all.

9 thoughts on ““If you don’t mind my asking…”

  1. Yes madam. Realising it the most when I watch our own Malayalam films & how difficult it becomes for a person like Priyanandan Sir to release his movie in theaters. Alas ! Seems like blessings have changed to…”May you have more politics ingrained in every cell of your body to flourish in the tinsel world!” …. AMMA/MACTA/One for producers/distributors/ exhibitors… I just wish all of them work together to benefit, aim not only to give what people want, but pepper it with those ingredients too, that has the capability to make cinema as a medium/tool to bring about change. It’s not easy I know, as it means risking the bread and butter of a lot. With film making becoming easier/cheaper with technological advances, there is a huge scope to try making good cinema than benefiting by churning slapsticks alone. I always think on why does Kerala have fewer media schools or no institues like FTII, though we have stalwarts who can inculcate the best to the younger lot. Cinema needs to educate & empower. There is a lot that the power of cinema can do. The medium as a canvas is painted incomplete…

  2. @Rejil, thats true. it may not or it might not be permitted to reach the masses. I know diehard movie buffs, who havent been even able to watch Parzania yet. Having said that I must say that there may not be anything coming on these kind of topics. Everybody wants to give only what is preferred by the majority.

  3. Sorry to say this maam, it says the Russians, the Brits, even Alexander and Chengis Khan and finally even Pakistan among occupying forces, but NO America.
    Interesting to go through the resume of all three behind this movie and seems the answer is there.

    • @ Rajesh – Nice observation on US. I would prefer watching the whole movie before commenting. Also, note that the few attempts on Gujarat also had a delayed arrival, almost five years after the riots. Parzania was boycotted in Gujarat itself. The one movie I remember watching was Firaaq. A question always remains – Assuming that there are makers & takers, will films dealing with Kashmir/NE be allowed to reach the masses the way it has to?

  4. Thanks a lot for this maam.
    Except for a few attempts on Gujarat, Indian movie makers have completely ignored the suffering of our own people. Kashmir, North eastern states, the tribals and of course the minorities across India would all appreciate some genuine attempts on their sufferings by the mainstream movie makers or others. Add to it those Manual scavengers who numbers between 3- 5 million and the millions of bonded labourers and we have so many out there who suffers, but there is nothing coming out. There are even reports of people being killled and threatened because they file petitions via RTI.
    Could you give any reason why there are very very few movies on these unfortunate Indians, who collectively numbers out to more than the fortunate ones.

    • i simply came to know about your identity while i was watching Kerala cafe..you have done a good short film in that…a good attempt..and a good hit on the nerve diseased crowd…simply googled about you,and found this creatively maintained blog..i read some..but this time causing me so much of distraction…if drowsiness wouldn’t be invited at midnight 2.30,i should not be normal i guess…so i will definitely make more attempts to know you from this blog as it is the single channel to your personal diary..nice to see your writings…you can reckon me as a pest..as i do that lot with my lecturing..so bye till my next encounter with this blog..

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