Previous Work
Asian Project Market

Not available for screening anymore


Directed by Nandita Das

  • India 2008; 101 min
  • Original version: Hindi, Gujurati, Urdu, English
  • Genre: Drama
    • Best Editing, Best Art Direction - Indian National Film Awards
    • 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
  • Previously selected at Toronto IFF

  • From the director of MANTO presented at Asian Project Market


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. 

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.



    Yusuf Shaikh