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60 min | Hindi & Punjabi with English subtitles | India | 1990
Camera, Editing & Direction: Anand Patwardhan
Sound: Pervez Merwanji
Production Assistance: Narinder Singh, Shoba Sadgopan, Simantini Dhuru
In Memory of Friends documents the violence and terror in Punjab, India – a land torn apart by religious fundamentalists and a repressive government.
After examining the political turmoil of the late 1970′s and the rise of Sikh fundamentalism, the film focuses on the legacy of Bhagat Singh, a young socialist executed by the British in 1931 at the age of 23. Singh has since become a legend. Today the State eulogizes him as a nationalist while Sikh separatists portray him as a Sikh militant. In fact, Singh was neither. Just prior to his death he wrote a book which he entitled ‘Why I Am An Atheist.’
In strife-torn Punjab a band of brave Sikhs and Hindus carry Bhagat Singh’s secular legacy from village to village. In the religiously charged countryside ideas of internationalism and secularism now carry a price.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Anand Patwardhan and author, Amandeep Sandhu. A Q&A with the audience will follow.
Anand Patwardhan has a large body of 18 documentary features and shorts, of which we will screen 4 films. This is the second film in our three day retrospective of his work.
In collaboration with:
Anand Patwardhan has been making documentary films for over five decades, pursuing issues at the crux of social and political life in India. His films, often banned by state channels, became the subject of litigation where he successfully challenged censorship rulings in court. Working for inter-faith harmony and in movements against unsustainable development, militarism and nuclear nationalism, Anand describes himself as a “non-serious human being forced by circumstances to make serious films”.
Amandeep Sandhu is the author of two novels: ‘Sepia Leaves’ is about a family living under the shadow of schizophrenia from a young boy’s point of view during the Emergency. ‘Roll of Honour’ (2012, Rupa) is about the split loyalties of a Sikh boy in a military boarding school in Panjab during the Khalistan movement, based on the events of the year 1984. The novel was nominated for The Hindu Prize 2013.