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)
- Read Manto’s seminal short story about the partition of India, Toba Tek Singh, which encapsulates the horror and confusion of India’s partition in 1947. Translated from Urdu by Khushwant Singh.
- Khushwant Singh, Train To Pakistan, 1956.
- Bapsi Sidhwa, Ice-Candy-Man by Bapsi Sidhwa, 1988.
- Urvashi Bultali, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India by Urvashi Butali, 2000.
- Stephen Alter, Amritsar to Lahore: A Journey Across the India-Pakistan Border, 2000.
- Urvashi Butalia, Partition and Memory, 2001.
- Ashis Nandy, The Death of an Empire, 2002.
- Vinay Lal, Partitioned Selves, Partitioned Pasts: A Commentary on Ashis Nandy’s “Death of an Empire”, 2002.
- Lucien W. Pye, The Partitions of Memory: The Afterlife of the Division of India; Communal Rage in Secular India, 2003.
- William Gould, A review of The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories by Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, 2007.
- Columbia University Press, Interview with Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, 2007.
- Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, India-Pakistan: Vazira Zamindar on the raw wound of Partition, 2011.
- Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Ayesha Jalal: Pakistan’s Revenge of the 40s, then the 80s, 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.
LIST OF ALTERNATIVE MEDIA
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Written and Directed by
Raj V. Rajan
C. Padmanabh Kamath
Director of Photography in India
Director of Photography in Pakistan
Rochester, New York
Ruth Demaree Peck
Line Producer In India
Painted Tree Pictures
Line Producer in Pakistan
Voice-Over Script and Narration
In Order of Appearance
Naseema Aslam Khan
Original Texts by
Jatinder Nath Sethi
Uzma Aslam Khan
Aanand Parthasarathi (narrating Jatinder Nath Sethi)
Uzma Aslam Khan
Rafique Ahmed Qureshi
Janani Parthasarathi (narrating Urvashi Butalia)
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar
Department of History
Department of Political Science and International Relations
Rochester, New York
Narendra Nath Sethi
Original Paintings and Sketches
The Partition Series by Jimmy Engineer
Post Production Services
Fairport, New York
Audio Post Production
West Rush Productions
Rush, New York
Neelum Films Logo
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