New Delhi: Based on actual incidents and narrated from the Kashmiri Pandit’s point of view, director Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’ is a dramatised version of events that occurred in 1989.
The film ‘The Kashmir Files’, which showcases the plight of Kashmiri Pandits with all its grime and gore, begins on an innocuous note, with a euphoric cricket commentary on the radio in the backdrop of young Kashmiri children playing cricket in the snow-covered landscape.
Synchronising their game to the radio commentary, young Shiva cheers for Sachin Tendulkar till his friend Abdul cautions him against doing so, and soon we realise why.
Told in a non-linear manner, initially, the plot meanders on a jerky note telling about us the atrocities perpetrated on Pushkar Nath Pandit (Anupam Kher) and his family. But soon, the tale takes the form of a cathartic film, when Pushkar’s four friends reunite after 30 years, at the behest of Krishna (Darshan Kumaar), Pushkar’s younger grandson, to scatter Pushkar’s ashes at his ancestral home in Kashmir…
The tragedy of Kashmir has deep roots. Over the decades of endless cycles of violence, waves of separatism, the infiltration of Pakistan-funded terror outfits, and the simmering discontent amongst the people, scholarly works and journalistic exercises have dug deep in order to excavate and explore. As is always the case with complex histories of places and people, we’ve had accounts depending upon which aspect of the issue they have been interested in.
Overall, the film is engaging and like one of the dialogues, which tells us, “Broken souls don’t speak — they must be heard”, ‘The Kashmir Files’ is the voice of tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave their homes.