Indian actress Kalki Koechlin, famous for starring in excellent indie films and mainstream movies like Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, was in the news recently for her trip to Pakistan in January 2016. Everyone was speculating what the reason for her trip could have been. There were also “rumors” that she was in the country to film a project, and we just got excited about her debut in a Pakistani film.
On her trip to Pakistan, Kalki went deep into the heartland of Pakistan
She was, naturally, spotted hanging out with some Pakistanis
Now, it turns out that Kalki came to Pakistan to film her experiences about visiting Pakistan, as an Indian
This project is a documentary by acclaimed Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar whose Khamosh Pani is possibly one of the best South Asian films. “Azmaish: Trials of Life”, as the film is titled, is a collaboration between Sabiha Sumar and Kalki Koechlin about their reactions as people from Pakistan and India, respectively, to life on either side of the border. It comes at a time of fraught India-Pakistan ties, most recently as a result of the terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Kashmir, in September 2016.
Kalki talked about the context of the film, saying it’s not a political statement but a look at what the lives are like for people of the antagonistic neighbors, “the context in which we know India and Pakistan is always conflict and divide. We specifically wanted to look away from that and see the two countries just as they are”.
The movie, in Pakistan, captures life in Sindh, primarily.
Although, the two traveled to Islamabad as well but most of the filming about Pakistan is done in Sindh province, and about that Sabiha says, “Kalki and I wanted to get to the heart of who really calls the shots in both countries, because that’s where dominant values come from. In India, it’s the business elite or industrialists. Pakistan’s ruling elite are the feudalist.”
“That’s why I chose Sindh. We’d have liked Punjab too, but we couldn’t do it all in one film. The landscape of Sindh – from its mega cities to deserts – is also so diverse and dramatic:, said Sumar.
While the two ladies travel across both the countries
They enjoyed festivals
And experienced life on the other side
They bonded over food
And shared their love of chai
Here’s the teaser of Azmaish where the two women travel across Pakistan and India
They’re currently in post-production of the film and are in need of Rs. 20 lakhs in order to finish their work on the movie. They are asking for donations on Indian crowdfunding platform Wishberry.
Are you looking forward to what the duo has in store for everyone?
Cover image via: doyourmovement.com