DUBAI // Film-makers from India and Pakistan whose works are being shown at the Dubai International Film Festival say they hope to foster a greater dialogue between Hindus and Muslims. The film Firaaq, which is Urdu for division, by Indian actor-director Nandita Das, revolves around the lives of ordinary people caught up in the Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002. The film was shown at the festival on Monday and received an encouraging response from both the audience and critics.
"After the Mumbai terror attacks I think this film is even more relevant. If we do not talk about these issues, there will not be a deeper understanding between the communities," said Das.
She said Firaaq tried to capture the fear, anger and prejudice that unfolded in the community after the riots. The film follows the lives of victims, perpetrators and those who were silent spectators.
Das describes the film as a work of fiction based on a thousand true stories."Making the film was a cathartic experience and the topic was close to my heart. After I met people hit by the riots I felt that there was a need for characters, people to speak out," she said.