Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Viceroy's House: film about India-Pakistan 1947 partition

Really looking forward to 'Bend It Like Beckham' director Gurinder Chadha's next film, Viceroy's House, due out next year. It certainly has a cracking cast in Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Simon Callow, Om Puri and Huma Qureshi :

Gurinder Chadha's films are always a treat especially to second-gen onwards Brit-Asians such as myself though they certainly have a wider appeal.  I also happen to hail from the director's same West London suburb and from a Sikh-Punjabi background so her material particularly resonates with me and it's always interesting to see what she's homing in on. Every Punjabi family has a partition story - I'm curious to see how she handles hers and how she mediates it within the grammar of film-making and the demands of commercial cinema.

In a more recent interview from this month, this time an event at America's Clark University, we learn that:

"Chadha is currently in the post-production phase of her film, “Viceroy’s House,” which will be released in 2017. The film chronicles the British partition of India and Pakistan, and the intertwining of many cultural perspectives during a controversial time in South Asian history. “I was very clear that this is a film made by a British Punjabi; it’s very much that perspective,” said Chadha. “No Indian could have made it, and no Pakistani could have made it, and no white British could have made it.”

Viceroy’s House” tells Chadha’s family history. “When I was growing up I had come to understand that partition happened because it was our fault — that we Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims couldn’t get on with each other,” Chadha recalled. “There was violence and the British had no option but to divide the country. … As a result I had somehow felt that the loss of a homeland was a result of my ancestors’ fault.” Chadha said that when archived historical documents eventually became public, she and her family learned the partition was a political act."

Read more from this event here.

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