Firaaq

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    Firaaq

    Directed by

    India

    2008

    101 min

    • English
    • Hindi
    • Urdu
    • Gujurati

    Drama

    Previously selected at Toronto IFF

    Firaaq is an Urdu word meaning both separation and quiet. Firaaq, the film, is set over a 24-hour period, one month after the carnage that took place in Gujarat, India in 2002 in which over 3000 Muslims were killed while many more were displaced or fell victim to other physical or sexual violence. Firaaq traces the emotional journey of ordinary people - some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. A middle class housewife closes the door on a victim and struggles to overcome her guilt. The loyalties of two best friends are tested in a time of fear and suspicion. A bunch of young men having suffered the violence, seek revenge to fight their helplessness and anger. A modern day Hindu-Muslim couple struggle between the instinct to hide their identity and the desire to assert it. A boy desperately searches for his missing father, having lost the rest of his family in the riots. A saintly musician clings on to his idealism, despite all the violence in the city, until an incident shakes his faith. Yet in the midst of all this madness, some find it in their hearts to sing hopeful songs for better times.

    Awards

    Show All Awards Show Less Awards
    • Best Editing, Best Art Direction - Indian National Film Awards
    • Special Jury Award - Kerala IFF
    • Best Directorial Debut - V Shantaram Awards
    • Best Film - Nokia Star Screen Awards, India
    • Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor - Imagine India FF
    • Critic's Best Movie, Special Award, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Costume Design - Filmfare Awards, India
    • Best Film, Best Screenplay, Foreign Critics Award - Asian Festival of First Films
    • Special Award - Thessaloniki IFF
    • Best Editing - Dubai IFF
    • Special Jury Award - Vladivostok FF
    • Maverick Spirit Award for Best Film - Cinequest FF
    • Best Film - Kara FF
    • Special Jury Prize - Istanbul FF
    • The David Flint Honorary Award - Biennial Global Awards

    Credits

    Cast
    Naseeruddin Shah
    Raghubir Yadav
    Paresh Rawal
    Deepti Naval
    Sanjay Suri
    Tisca Chopra
    Shahana Goswami
    Nowaz
    Mohd. Samad
    Nasser
    Screenplay
    Shuchi Kothari
    Nandita Das
    Cinematography
    Ravi K Chandran
    Editing
    Sreekar Prasad
    Music
    Rajat Dholakia
    Piyush Kanojia

    Director's Statement

    I don’t remember exactly when the seed of this film was sown. It had to do with waking up to newspapers filled with stories of violence; conversations about identity and communalism that would surface deep-seated prejudice and a strong notion of the ‘other’, turning it into a polarized debate. It had to do with meeting many victims of violence and even some who perpetrated it. But, most of all it had to do with those who remained willfully silent. The sadness, the anger, the helplessness kept growing and a deep desire to share all those stories with a larger group of people began to take roots. I didn’t start out looking for a story that I could direct, instead the stories compelled me to become a director.

    Production
    PERCEPT PICTURE COMPANY

    Press

    Das is to be commended for taking on this worthy subject matter. She conveys the fear and panic of the survivors, the antipathy of the police and the deep rooted prejudice which can set friend against friend.

    Val Kermode, Eye For Film

    Nandita Das

    Nandita Das

    India

    Nandita Das wears many hats: film and theatre actor/writer/director, columnist and a strong advocate of social issues. Never to shy away from unconventional subjects, she has acted in over 40 feature films in ten different languages. FIRAAQ, (2008), her debut feature film, premiered at the Toronto IFF, and has travelled to over 60 festivals, winning much appreciation and accolades from audiences and critics alike. She has been on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 (main jury) & 2013 (short film and Cinefoundation), among others. The French Government honored her with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dansl’Ordredes Arts et des Lettres). Nandita was the first Indian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the International Women’s Forum. She has been nominated as the Youth Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a Yale World Fellow.