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Realising the power of story

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FOR THE MEN IN UNIFORM: A still from the film `1971' by Amrit Sagar
FOR THE MEN IN UNIFORM: A still from the film `1971' by Amrit Sagar

Real cinema appears to have taken its first shaky steps in Bollywood, which is still dominated by fairy tales. While the makers of "Black Friday" may have decided to firmly stick on the side of fact, there is "Parzania" that leans towards fiction and now "1971" is hoping to use the power of a story to talk about a "real" situation.

Based on the lives of prisoners of war, "1971" deals with those who never came home. The directorial debut of Amrit Sagar, the film might not have any big stars -- except Manoj Bajpai and the biggest star of Bhojpuri films, Ravi Kissen -- but it seems to have found support from different quarters.

And in a rare occurrence, INS Vikrant will play host to an event for the film on Wednesday in Mumbai. INS Vikrant had played a significant role in the war. Being true to the story, this battleship will now have reel heroes abroad its huge decks.

"It is indeed significant that INS Vikrant will be hosting this event. The warship played a glorious role in 1971 war operations and had contributed in large measure to the early defeat of Pakistan. We congratulate the makers of the film 1971 which honours our war heroes," says Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, Vice-Admiral Sangam Singh Byce, in a press statement.

Going back in time, the film is set six years after the war that changed the destiny of East Pakistan forever. A sort of band-of-brothers film, it is the story of six men who try and escape to get home.

Presented by Studio 18, the film's director hopes that it will do more than just tell a story. "I thought what if this film is a huge success, what if I become what I have always desired and then I suddenly thought of those 54 families who are waiting for their loved ones to return. I made this film for a human cause and I feel that this is my most honest work because it is not for me; it is for those 54 men in uniform and their families who continue to wait," says Amrit. -- Mandira Nayar

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