Firaaq is a fictional film about the very real and often violent struggle between the Hindus and the Muslims in India. It’s set in 2002 during the later stages of the riots in Gujarat, and it has a large number of characters who this non-Indian viewer had trouble keeping 100% straight until perhaps halfway through. There is a mixed religion couple who are planning to leave the area for Delhi, a Muslim couple returning to their house to find it has been burned by rioters, a woman with post traumatic stress disorder who sees and hears things that are not there, a small orphan boy, and several others. I suspect that those who know the history and culture better would have an easier time of keeping track of who’s who, though the fact that I had trouble distinguishing the Hindus from the Muslims is perhaps a lesson in itself.

This is the directing debut for Nandita Das, who was the lead actress in a film called Sandstorm from the first year I attended Cinequest. She doesn’t do a bad job, though it felt a little heavy handed at times to me. On the whole I will give it 3 stars out of 4 stars, with perhaps 1/2 a star of that because it’s important for people to know about senseless tragedies like this, to perhaps make repeating them just a little less likely.

Seen on 3/5/2009 at Cinequest.


One Response to “Firaaq

  1. Final Cinequest 19 Thoughts « Random Musings About Movies, Running, and More Says:

    […] Firaaq— […]

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