Iranian filmmaking in Kashmiri autumn
Set in 2002, shot in 2009, Aamir Bashir’s film Harud will be in select PVR cinemas on Friday, 27 July. Harud is clearly inspired by Iranian films which manage to say a lot without saying much. Like a lot of Iranian cinema, a child is at the centre of the film. The brilliant acting by Shahnawaz Bhat, who plays the protagonist Rafiq, makes the film. In the expressions on his face there is ambiguity and wonderment as much as there is humiliation, helplessness and a desire to do something to change things around him. Here is a film about Kashmir that does not begin with beautiful landscape and does not end with a big encounter between militants and forces. This is not a film that seeks to explain the Kashmir conflict – rather, it takes you inside the lives of ordinary people and how they faced the madness of a conflict. Regardless of what your views on Kashmir are, Harud succeeds in making you empathise with Rafiq and others around him. That, for any narrative on Kashmir, is no small achievement.