A Thin Wall

This documentary explores the Partition of India in 1947 by interviewing people on both sides of the Pakistani-Indian border. Rather than undertaking a large-scale historical study, the film unfolds as a personal narrative told in two different voices – one Pakistani and one Indian, both second generation citizens of their respective countries, whose families were affected by Partition. Animation and music are used to re-create vivid memories of pre-Partition India. This film is a collaboration with Indian filmmaker Surbhi Dewan.

“Surbhi and I both grew up with stories of Partition. Maybe they inspired our interest in displacement and our need to bridge cultural and geographic distances. Our families made the same terrifying voyage in 1947, but in opposite directions. We feel that Partition’s shadow still looms large in the subcontinent. It shaped the relationship between the two newly independent states of Pakistan and India. There is a need to revisit those stories in order to move beyond them. There is also a need to preserve and document this historical event, in the intimate voices of those who lived through it. “

(Mara Ahmed, Director and Producer, March 8, 2011)





  • Film Garm Hava (Scorching Winds): 1973 Indian film about partition, directed by M. S. Sathyu, based on an unpublished short story by Ismat Chughtai, and adapted for the screen by Kaifi Azmi.



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Written and Directed by
Mara Ahmed

Produced by
Surbhi Dewan
Mara Ahmed

Executive Producers
Raj V. Rajan
C. Padmanabh Kamath
Altapar LLC
Anil Dewan

Director of Photography in India
Mithun Gomes
New Delhi

Director of Photography in Pakistan
Zubair Tanoli

Mara Ahmed
Rochester, New York

Gayane Bagdasaryan
Moscow, Russia

Musical Score
Sunny Zaman
Ruth Demaree Peck
Zeshan Bagewadi
Shamoun Murtza

Line Producer In India
Painted Tree Pictures
New Delhi

Line Producer in Pakistan
Bunty's Studio

Voice-Over Script and Narration
Mara Ahmed
Surbhi Dewan

Additional Camera
Daniel Stebbins
Adam Netsky
Mara Ahmed
Saptarshi Roy
Hira Nabi
Reed Nisson
Puneet Bhatia
Suvrat Pasad

Suvrat Prasad
Anisha Dutt

In Order of Appearance
Nilofar Saleem
Sajida Burki
Javed Qureshi
Jitender Sethi
Nirmal Sethi
Santosh Malik
Naseema Aslam Khan
Leela Dewan

Original Texts by
Jatinder Nath Sethi
John Siddique
Uzma Aslam Khan
Asim Rafiqui
Urvashi Butalia
Ajay Bhardwaj

Aanand Parthasarathi (narrating Jatinder Nath Sethi)
John Siddique
Uzma Aslam Khan
Rafique Ahmed Qureshi
Asim Rafiqui
Janani Parthasarathi (narrating Urvashi Butalia)
Ajay Bhardwaj

Historical Consultant
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar
Department of History
Brown University

Historical Advisor
Victoria Farmer
Department of Political Science and International Relations
SUNY Geneseo

Mike Boas
Animatus Studio
Rochester, New York

Original Photographs
Asim Rafiqui
Narendra Nath Sethi

Original Paintings and Sketches
The Partition Series by Jimmy Engineer
Karachi, Pakistan

Post Production Services
Chuck Munier
NXT Media
Fairport, New York

Audio Post Production
David Sluberski
West Rush Productions
Rush, New York

Neelum Films Logo
Irina Slastenko

Special Thanks
Nandita Das
Nancy Ghertner Productions
Ruth and Russell Peck
Nirupama and Rahul Laroia
Deanna and Jim Tiefenthal
Saira and Shamoun Murtza
Medha and Gyanesh Kudaisya
Shobha and Gaurav Bhatnagar

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