Ramchand Pakistani; film with humanist look at life in India, Pak

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) For years, films in India and Pakistan have viewed people and life in the two countries through a myopic vision, marked by feelings of ''jingoistic nationalism'', practised by a minuscule minority on both sides of the border.

Not any longer! With the confrontationist stance taken by political establishments of the two countries giving way to an increasing concern for human rights and tackling terror acts plaguing both India and Pakistan, a new spirit of humanism seems to be fast pervading their cinematic ventures.

After Yash Chopra's 'Veer Zaara', Vivek Agnihotri's 'Goal', Anil Sharma's 'Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo' and 'Khuda Ke Liye', yet another film viewing the situation in India and Pakistan through the prism of 'humanism' hit theatres in India on Friday.

Directed by debutant Pakistani filmmaker Mehreen Jabbar, 'Ramchand Pakistani' depicts how an accidental crossing by a small boy of the Pakistani India border at a time of war-like tension dramatically changes the lives of a Pakistani Hindu 'untouchable' peasant family comprising the the little boy, his father and his mother, released in Indian theatres tomorrow.

'Ramchand Pakistani' is a telling commentary on the mindset in Indo-Pak relations that sometimes makes innocent individuals from both sides of the border inadvertent victims in the war pitch between the two countries.

Produced by Pakistan-based Project One in association with J J Media and Namak Films, 'Ramchand Pakistani' features Indian actor Nandita Das as Champa, the village woman faced with a tormenting struggle for emotional security and survival after her small child and her husband are detained by Indian authorities when they happen to accidentally cross the Pakistan India border at a time when the two countries are facing war-like tension due to the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament.

The singular theme of 'Ramchand Pakistani' is how a child from Pakistan aged eight years learns to cope with the trauma of forced separation with his mother while being held prisoner, along with his father, in the jail of a country (India) hostile to his own, while on the other side of the border, the wife-mother, devastated by their sudden disappearance, builds a new chapter of her life by her solitary struggle for sheer survival.

Says actor Nandita Das,''the film is about a poor lonely woman who finds herself alone in an insensitive social and political system. The film is also a commentary on the mindset that declares the innocent victims of accidental and inadvertent border crossings as spies without proper investigation.'' According to the debutant director of 'Ramchand Pakistani' Mehreen Jabbar, the film portrays the life of a family which is at the bottom of a discriminatory religious ladder and insensitive social system, which is nevertheless tolerant, inclusive and pluralist. The irony is compounded by the fact that such a family becomes hostage to the acrimonious political relationship between two neighbour states poised on the brink of war.

''The film shows a side of Pakistan that has never been seen before In films based on lives of people in the two neighbouring countries. This I feel will evoke the interest of the audience in the film,'' Mehreen Jabbar says.

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