men are missing, not declared dead, their wives are not widows but ‘half widows.’ The ‘half widows’ need extraordinary courage to continue living. Personally, they live with the memories of their love. They face a society which treats them as unattached property as it treats most single women in India. And all this in a war zone where anybody could get picked up or shot by an Indian security person or by any one of the militants roaming in the valley.
Best First Film, MIFF Gold Remi for Short
Festival, Houston Best Documentary, Signs, John Abraham National Awards
ATHWAAS – THE JOURNEY, Ashima Kaul, 30’, PSBT
In 2001, a few Kashmiri women from diverse backgrounds and who had experienced the Kashmir conflict differently, came together to listen to each other. They named themselves Athwaas, a Kashmiri word meaning a handshake. The core group of Athwaas later traveled to different parts of the Kashmir Valley and camps of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community in Jammu, listening to the stories of pain, suffering and resilience of women divided across multiple faultlines. The film traces the emotional and physical journey of each woman in Athwaas beginning from the personal narrative of the director when she first visited the Valley to the time Athwaas was formed.
DIALOGUING PEACE IN KASHMIR
DISCUSSION FORUM (Panellists to be confirmed)
Ashima Kaul, Gurmeet Kaur Malik Sajad, Meenakshi Gopinath Navnita Behera Chadha Uma Chakravarti (Moderator)
OPERATION HOMECOMING, Richard E. Robbins, USA 52’, INPUT
The documentary explores first hand accounts of American troops through their written words, and offers a profound window into the human side of the war being fought in Iraq. Interviews and dramatic readings transform selections from this collection of writing into a deep examination of the experiences of the men and women who are serving in America’s armed forces.. Each story displays an honesty and intensity that is rarely seen in explorations of conflict.