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Ramchand Pakistani coming to India

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Across borders: Actor Nandita Das in a scene from “Ramchand Pakistani.”
Across borders: Actor Nandita Das in a scene from “Ramchand Pakistani.”

Portraying the story of a family that is at the bottom of a discriminatory religious ladder and an insensitive social system is a brand new Pakistani film “Ramchand Pakistani” set for release in Indian theatres on August 22.

Being released under the banner of Percept Picture Company (PPC), the film is based on a real-life incident about accidental crossing of the India-Pakistan border by two members of a low-caste Pakistani Hindu family during a period of war-like tension between the two countries.

Directed by young Pakistani film-maker Mehreen Jabbar, “Ramchand Pakistani” stars Pakistani actors Rashid Farooqui, Noman Ijaz, Maria Wasti, Navaid Jabbar and little boy Syed Fazal Hussain alongside Nandita Das, who plays a central role in the film.

Acclaimed for her ability to perform unusual roles with aplomb, Nandita has films like “Fire,” “Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa,” “Bawandar,” “Earth” and “Pitaah” to her credit.

Describing “Ramchand Pakistani” as a film about a poor lonely woman who finds herself marginalised in an insensitive social and political system, Nandita says it is a commentary on the mind-set that declares the innocent victims of accidental and inadvertent border crossings as spies without proper investigation.

Although the gifted actor has done quit a few films in different languages, Nandita is upbeat about her first Pakistani film. “This film can’t be counted as a conventional Pakistani film just because it has been made in that country. This is a distinctive film with a broad appeal. It reflects the tragedy of hundreds of innocent persons of either country who languish in jails of the other and the devastation for all their families,” adds the feisty actor, who believes in using cinema as an instrument for bringing about a social change.

The singular theme of the film is how an eight-year-old child from Pakistan learns to cope with the trauma of forced separation from his mother while being held prisoner along with his father in an Indian jail, while on the other side of the border, the wife-mother devastated by their sudden disappearance builds up a new chapter of her life with her solitary struggle for sheer survival. The family becomes hostage to an acrimonious political relationship between two belligerent neighbours poised on the brink of war.

After the successful run of the first cross-border film “Khuda Kay Liye” in Indian theatres, PPC is confident that “Ramchand Pakistani” would add one more feather to its cap.

Madhur Tankha

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