In occupied Kashmir, hundreds of reports and essays have been written on the ongoing Kashmir uprising in the last six months and thousands of photographs have been taken, but, for the first time, the first 120 days of the uprising have been captured on film by independent local film-makers.
Directed by two journalism students of the Media Education Research Centre, Kashmir University – Sheikh Adnan (23) and Furqan Khurshid (23) – ‘Tales of Siege’ narrates how the continued curfew and strike played out in the Valley.
The film is described as a movie about the “resilience and survival of people of Kashmir” in the first 120 days of the uprising. Sheikh Adnan and Furqan Khurshid who also kick-started their YouTube channel, called Raconteur, with the film, was helped by their batch mates Saher Iqbal and Muneem Farooq. They are all third semester students at the University.
The 18-minute-long film was uploaded on YouTube on Sunday and had garnered 2,500 views in less than 24 hours. The number of views climbed to 4,675 by Tuesday evening.
“The idea was to talk to all stakeholders of the conflict, understand the events that had unfolded and present an unbiased picture of what really happened,” Sheikh Adnan said in an interview. He added that most officials did not agree to interview requests, making it difficult for the filmmakers who wanted to present all sides of the events.
The film was shot from October 8 to November 7, because, Adnan said that moving around Kashmir before that was difficult. The team said they were not allowed to record interviews of pellet victims inside hospitals by the authorities.
The short film captures what many Kashmiri youth think about martyred commander Burhan Wani, how mobile internet was banned for more than four months, how prayers were disallowed at the Jamia Masjid Srinagar for 19 weeks and how schools remained shut and syllabus was incomplete.—KMS