My Mother India
:: Films ::
Films About Sikhs
During 2004 Witness84 held two major Film Festivals, showing films ranging from the BBC to independent film makers. The Films were shown at Watermans in London and the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham and were a huge success.
Click here for event flyer
The Films shown in 2004 were
Directors : John Das, Tommy Nagra
A two-part landmark documentary commissioned by the BBC to mark the 300th Anniversary of the Khalsa. It paints a vivid and compelling portrait of the Sikh community worldwide. The series was filmed in India , the UK , Canada and the USA and was over a year in the making. The first film looks at the emergence of Sikhs in the 15th century, with its teachings of justice, social harmony, peace and equality of all people, regardless of religion, creed, race or gender. It traces how Sikhism further developed in the face of persecution, culminating in the founding of the Khalsa.
This part also looks at two of the Sikh community's most traumatic experiences of the 20th century - the Partition of the Punjab in 1947, and the storming of The Golden Temple of Amritsar at Mrs Gandhi's behest in 1984 and the subsequent mass killings of innocent Sikhs throughout India . The second film sees how Sikhism is revitalizing itself at the turn of the millennium, from young Sikhs rediscovering their faith, to the growth of western converts to Sikhism.
My Mother India
Dir: Safina Uberoi Australia 2002 52mins
Cast: Odile Le Clezio, Lech Mackiewicz, Dean Vassallo assallo & Lynne Porteous
Safina Uberoi's acclaimed documentary tells the story of a mixed marriage set against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Indian history.
This lively portrait of the mixed marriage between a scholarly Sikh husband and his red-headed, freckle-faced Australian-born wife, is told from the point of view of their slightly bemused daughter, the filmmaker. Growing up in India , her eccentric parents were a source of embarrassment. In this conservative society, her mother would line dry her underwear to the horror of neighbors. Her father proudly collected "kitch" calendars in the name of anthropology. Her outspoken Indian grandmother hated all men, especially her ex-husband. Although Safina was teased by her classmates for having light-colored skin, she remembers a happy childhood.
What begins as a gently humorous portrait unfolds into a complex commentary on the social, political and religious events of the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 which tore this family apart. This is a powerful story of love and hate, exile and belonging, loss of identity and return to faith.
A very personal story about identity and belonging, My Mother
India is a fascinating insight into Indian culture…Safina Uberoi shares her emotional journey of discovery in a humorous, poignant and moving documentary' – Urban Cinefile
" This marvellous film ...took me on a journey I'd never been on before, worlds opened up..." Margaret Pomeranz, SBS Movie Show.
Disappearances In Punjab
• Best Australian Documentary, Real Life on Film Documentary Festival
• Jury Prize for Best Australian Documentary, Australian Film Critics Circle
• Rouben Mamoulian & Community Relations Commission Awards, Dendy Awards, Sydney Film Festival
• Best Screenwriting Prize, The NSW Premier's Literary Award
• Special Jury Award, Hawaii International Film Festival
• Best Long - Form Documentary, Australian Teachers of Media Awards
Dir: Ram Narayan Kumar & Lorenze Skerjanz
A documentary film exploring the legacy of human rights violations in Punjab committed by Indian's security forces, its effects on the citizens of the state and itsr ole in sustaining unrest in Punjab .
Works In Progress – Harpreet Kaur
The Widow Colony accesses the living conditions of the widows and the orphans, of the Delhi Pogroms of 1984, where thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered with the help of the Government.
The interviews with the widows reveal that even though they have learned to continue on with their livelihood, a large part of their psyche remains trapped in 1984. With their families torn and traumatized these widows and children live in a segregated ghetto of New Delhi , Tilak Vihar. They have been fighting for justice for 20 years and now their children fight with the problem of drugs and unemployment. The perpetrators of these crimes remain free, the victims remain forgotten.
Unheard Voices of Punjab talks about the Human Rights violations against the Sikhs of Punjab. This documentary covers the lives of the victims of State sponsored terrorism. Political leaders, activists and victims talk about their personal experience with the authorities and tell us about their bleak view of the future. The documentary, forces the viewer to realize that the voices of thousands of relatives of disappeared Sikhs, still remain unheard. Their wounds still remain unhealed.