[ blog flash 10 : Osian’s Cinefan film festival ]

Osian’s Cinefan, the 9th Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema in New Delhi later this month will feature Jashn-e-Azadi (listed in their programmes in its English translation “How we celebrate freedom“). The screening has been scheduled for July 22, 2007 (Sun) at 1.45 pm in the Siri Fort Auditoria Complex (Audi 2) in a section called ‘In-tolerance

This will be the first, formal “festival” appearance for the film. Cheers!


2 Responses to “[ blog flash 10 : Osian’s Cinefan film festival ]”

  1. 1 Asam Jan July 24, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    (very early in the short history of this blog, blog-mistri had commented upon the unethical practice of using pseudonyms that are designed to confuse: this id is familiar as a source of what is crudely known in Kashmiri circles as “pro-Pandit, anti-Muslim” emails. here too the name ‘Asam Jan’, meant to confuse us, if unsucessfully, in these communal times.)

    A bunch of lies and half truths is what a common individuals gathers by watching Jashn-e-aazadi…Its first scrrening had a full auditorium, but people left the auditorium with anger in their eyes. Anger towards the protoganists of Sanjay Kak. Its unfortunate for Kak as a documentary film-maker to have just seen one side of the coin. Was it knowingly that he did this or was it with some backing and clear-cut motive? These are some of the unanswered questions…Its time Kak catches up with the entire picture of Kashmir. His blog carries reviews which have praised the movie. what about a few online and media reviews which had tried to crticize it positively? Or, is “The Sanjay Kak” so self-obsessed. Technically he has done a great job, with amazing camera handling, superb editing, nice colour scheme, again crisp background narrative and music. But what he lacks is maturity to handle a sensitive issue like Kashmir. Hope he tries to rectify them in his feature projects.

    blogmistri comments again – in his/her obsessive disregard for any viewpoint but his own, Asam Jan paints the world in colours which only he can appreciate. If s/he had gone through the blog as deligently as his prejudice, he would have found reviews which have criticised the film from Indian nationalist right perspective and comments which verge on incoherent abuse. why don’t you post links of those ‘positive critiques’ of the film which you don’t find here?

  2. 2 sameer July 26, 2007 at 5:42 am

    I watched the compelling documentary Jashn-e-Azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom] at the Osian Cine festival in New Delhi. The film is a powerful narrative about the last 18 years of Kashmir’s low intensity conflict – a glade of earth where the Indian elite once used to honeymoon en masse. With his intrepid endeavor, Sanjay Kak seems to have stepped onto an uncomfortable territory. I think the film’s chutzpah sets it apart. It subtly dissects the desolation and travails of a struggle, which is construed as sacred and star-crossed at the same time.

    On a much personal level I could almost immediately identify with poignancy of the effort. Being a Kashmiri, it felt like an emotive roller coaster. The images came rushing back to me as I saw horrors — known and unknown — unfold on the screen, sitting alongside an elite audience at Delhi’s Siri Fort. It is kinda tough but there has been an emotional bitterness about this war era – which a non-Kashmiri may find hard to fathom. I don’t know what went wrong and where but that is precisely what the film is trying to convey. Sanjay has stitched related narratives and crocheted them together by the theme — Azadi or Freedom.

    The elusive Azadi! I have been in Kashmir during those difficult militancy years. I vividly recount the dreary nights. The gunshots. The screams. It was a pain with no end. Of watching parents with hapless eyes. Their children being dragged out of homes and killed in cold blood. The persecution. Wily politicians. The wickedness of it all. And the quitetude. Jashn-e-Azadi rips open these closeted taboos. It attempts to zoom in on tears that ordinarily get consigned to dust of the dell. It follows the steps of a father, who visits the Martyr’s graveyard in Srinagar – only to forget his son’s grave.

    Kak’s oeuvre is varicolored. His ritornelle leaves you touched. He is simply effortless in his coalescing of numerous fragments of the war in Kashmir – psychological scars, bruised souls, the poets’ lament, the clowns’ hamming, dissidents’ spiel or the armys’ truculence. Sanjay talks to the miscellaneous Kashmiri. It must be hard being a sister and losing a brother in the bloody conflict and telling a film crew about how he died after all those years. In her limited vocabulary. Trying to seek a shy solace after years of anguish.

    The film gives you no breather. The motif flickers swiftly. An old man tallying those killed in his village explains the sombre truth of Emperor Jehangir’s Firdaus (Paradise). A tourist’s cheer in the meadows of Gulmarg only adds to the idiom. As the poet Zarif croons in one of the film’s many frames:

    I’ve lost the city of love I’d found,
    What frenzy is this
    My gaze has been silenced
    What frenzy is this?

    Jashn-e-Azadi is coming of age of independent documentary film making in India. Sanjay Kak is so much more real than the jingoistic crap that our free media passes for. He showcases the innocence that incidentally got stolen in a little paradise, once wintry night in 1989.

    And is still missing!


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Jashn-e-Azadi is available through various online outlets like amazon

You can now buy a DVD of the film, or Download it and watch
More than two years in the making, Jashn-e-azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom], is a feature length documentary by film-maker Sanjay Kak which explores the implications of the struggle for Azadi, for freedom, in the Kashmir valley.

Click here to watch the Trailer

As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of it's Independence, this provocative and quietly disturbing new film raises questions about freedom in Kashmir, and about the degrees of freedom in India.

And here is a short Interview with the film-maker.

This Jashn-e-Azadi blog is an open forum for conversations about the film, about Kashmir, and about Azadi itself.

For more information about screenings, sales and broadcast write to


For dispatches from the present

Voices of protest can be found here or call you from here

Stone in my hand

In the season of solutions, the late Eqbal Ahmad's wise words have to be remembered

Kashmir blog has the best one line blog take on Kashmir - they call it paradise, I call it home.

Zarafshan is a Kashmiri blogger whose blog (and blogrolls) are "just ways of dispersing news, views and feelings!"

For a considered discussion on the vexed issue of Pandits in Kashmir see Kasheer. And for more on this Ephemeral Existence

And a discovery called Paradise Lost

RSS Kashmir via Greater Kashmir

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Festival screenings

May 26, 2008 / International Video Festival of Kerala
Apr 28, 2008 / Dok.Fest
Feb 10, 2008 / Himalaya Film Festival
Nov 28, 2007 / International Documentary Festival
Oct 12, 2007 / Film South Asia
July 22, 2007 / Osian’s Cinefan film festival

Previous Previews

7 Dec 2007 / School of Oriental & African Studies & Sacred Media Cow
6 Dec 2007 / Workshop Theatre, School of English, University of Leeds
Egham, Surrey
3 Dec 2007 / Royal Holloway, University of London
New Delhi
26 Nov 2007 / Russian Centre of Science & Culture & Magic Lantern Foundation

New Jersey
Oct 5, 2007 / College of New Jersey
New York City
Oct 4, 2007 / Columbia School of Journalism
Oct 2, 2007 / University of Texas
Sep 28, 2007 / Temple University
Sep 27, 2007 / University of Pennsylvania
New York State
Sep 26, 2007 / Vassar College
New York City
Sep 25, 2007 / New School for Social Research
Sep 23, 2007 @ MIT
Sep 22, 2007 / SALDA
Sep 21, 2007 / University of Toronto
New Haven
Sep 20, 2007 / Yale University
Sep 18, 2007 / University of Minnesota

Aug 10, 2007 / Pure Docs, Prasad Preview, Banjara Hills

interrupted previews!! [[ MUMBAI ...
July 27, 2007 (Fri)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, 85 Sayani Road, Prabhadevi
July 30, 2007 (Mon)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Prithvi House, Juhu...]]

July 14, 2007 / Institute of Agrl. Technologies, Queens Road
July 13, 2007 / Centre for Film & Drama, Millers Road
June 13, 2007, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Hall
June 12, 2007, National Film Archive of India Auditorium
May 29, 2007, Blue Moon Hotel
May 26, 2007, Assam Club, Laban
May 12, 2007, Hindi Bhavan Hall
March 31, 2007, Tagore Hall
New Delhi
March 23, 2007, Sarai-CSDS
New Delhi
March 13, 2007, India Habitat Center



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