Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections

Search:



The Web

India Abroad




Newsletters
Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article
Home > Movies > Bollywood News

Amu rocks Toronto, Ash doesn't

Arthur J Pais in Toronto | September 15, 2005 18:21 IST

AmuWhen Shonali Bose set out to make a film with the backdrop of the massacreof Sikhs following then prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984, there was no shortage of peopleasking her to take up some other project.
And when Amu, reportedly the first feature film to deal with the issue, was completed, she says, there were many who kept hoping it would not be released.
"If I ever had doubts that a cover-up of history had taken place," she says, "they were set to rest when the Censor Board removed such lines as 'They were all involved. The police, the bureaucracy, the government', and gave the film an A (Adult) certificate.
More on rediff.com !


The Lux beauties

'Chocolate is a revival of suspense'

Exclusive pix from Harry Potter 4


"I was repeatedly asked, 'Why bring up a history that is best buried and forgotten?'" the 40-year-old filmmaker recollects. No one asked her that question, however,on Wednesday, when a theatre packed with over 250people gave her filmwarm applause at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The festival also saw the premiere Mistress Of Spices, based on a bestselling novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The film about a woman (Aishwarya Rai) with healing powers torn between her mission and her heart, received a lukewarm reception by such publications as Hollywood Reporter that found the film pretty, but not soul-stirring. The film has not yet found a distributor in North America. It is directed by Paul Mayeda Berges, the writing partner and husband ofBride & Prejudice directorGurinder Chadha.
The festival also drew a large number of actors, directors and producers of Indian origin. Ashok Amritraj has two productions, Shopgirl and Dreamer, both gala releases; John Abraham, Seema Biswas and Saralafeature in Deepa Mehta'sWater; Mallika Sherawatplays an Indian princess in the Jackie Chan film The Myth; Udayan Prasad directsthe romantic comedy Opa;veteran director Buddhadev Dasgupta shows up withKalpurush; and Ashim Ahluwalia makes an appearance with John & Jay, one of the most admired documentaries at the festival.
Amu was among several controversial films dealing with South Asian issues that were shown at the 30th edition of the Toronto fest. Prominent among them was Water, a project filmmaker Deepa Mehta was forced to shut down five years ago in Varanasi, following protests by fundamentalists who did not like the idea of a film about widows exploited in the holy city.
AmuWhile Water is being released inthe USby Fox Searchlight, Amu and John & Jay, as of now,are still looking for a distributor. Both were repersented by publicist Susan Norget, who had also handled last year's Oscar-winning documentary Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born into Brothels:Calcutta's Red Light Kids .
Ashim Ahluwalia's feature-length documentary John & Jane is a brief examination of the lives of six call centre workers in Mumbai. "I have not made a film about outsourcing," Ahluwalia says. "It is a study of people who work for these call centres who seem to have travelled across North America without ever leaving India.
"Many of them hate their job but are there mainly because of money," he continues. "But I am not at all judgmental. I allow the viewpoint of those who love their jobs."
Among the more visible political films was The War Within, in which a young Pakistani is getting ready to blow up the Grand Central station in New York.The film, which opens in a few cities in America on September 30, features a number of South Asian actors, includingAyad Akhtar, Nandana Sen, Firdous Bamji, Sarita Choudhury andVarun Sriram.


Share your comments


 What do you think about the story?




Read what others have to say:


Number of User Comments: 2




Sub: A fantastic movie by Sonali Bose

I saw the movie Amu in Hyderabad at it's special screening at the Prasads multiplex with my wife. The film has an interesting story-line and ...


Posted by Shumon Sengupta





Sub: Amu is truly Brilliant

AMU is an excellent movie directed by first timer Shonali Bose. Beautifully narrated, it is a heartwarming story of a young girl in dearch of ...


Posted by Atanu




Disclaimer

Advertisement






Copyright 2005 Rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.