Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 18, 2013

Film series highlights India-Pakistan Partition


The Andover Townsman

---- — Champa Bilwakesh, a member of the award-winning Andover Chroniclers, will present three films that tell the story of the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 starting next week at the Center at Punchard, 30 Whittier Court.

The films portray the traumatic events that impacted the lives of ordinary people who were ill prepared for the social, political, and religious upheaval that occurred. The human stories of Partition have emerged slowly from both sides of the border. While they are yet to be told completely, many stories have been captured in both Indian and Pakistani literature and cinema.

The series kicks off Wednesday, April 24, with “Garm Hawa (Scorching Winds),” the award-winning 1973 Hindi-Urdu film produced in India and directed by M.S. Sathyu. It is based on a short story about a Muslim businessman and his family in post-partitioned India who struggle for their rights in a country that was once their own.

“Khamosh Pani (Silent Water),” which follows widowed family matriarch Ayesha as she struggles under the martial law that declares her country a Muslim state, will be shown Wednesday, May 1. Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar directs this political drama set in 1979. It won the Golden Leopard award at the 2003 Locarno International Film Festival.

The series concludes Wednesday, May 8, with “Well Done Abba,” a comedy from Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal that follows a man with a knack for storytelling puts this gift to the test when he has to explain to his boss where he’s been for several months. Well Done Abba was an official selection at the 2009 BFI London Film Festival.

Series presenter Bilwakesh has published several short stories. Her novel, to be published by Upset Press, is scheduled to be released in 2013.

All films start at 1 p.m. The cost for the series is $9. Registration required; call 978-623-8321 to sign up or for information.