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No Man’s Land producer to co-produce Lihaaf, based on Chughtai's story

The film is based on the controversial story of the same name written by Ismat Chughtai back in 1942.

Keyur Seta

Marc Baschet, producer of the Oscar-winning Bosnian film No Man’s Land (2001), has been roped in as a producer for Lihaaf (The Quilt), based on the controversial story of the same name by celebrated Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai.

Directed by Rahat Kazmi, the film will star Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sonal Sehgal, Namita Lal, Mir Sarwar and Shoaib Nikash.

The film's poster was launched yesterday at the Cannes film festival in France, in the presence of veteran Hindi filmmaker Subhash Ghai.

Speaking about his association with the film, Baschet said in an official statement, “I am very happy to be part of a film with such a strong theme with universal appeal. I first heard the story of Lihaaf (The Quilt) when I met Namita in the Film Bazaar in Goa in November last year. I was struck by the theme of the story and decided to follow the development of the film as a mentor.” 

Subhash Ghai and Marc Baschet with the team of Lihaaf

Chughtai had written the story, which deals with the subject of lesbianism, back in 1942. The subject is considered bold even today. So one can imagine the furore it must have created back then.

Quite unsurprisingly, Chughtai was slapped with a case of obscenity in Lahore. The case went on for three years.

Speaking about the story, Kazmi said, “Lihaaf looks at an emotional and physical relationship of a neglected woman with her masseuse born from a suffocating feudal environment as seen through the eyes of a teenager [Ismat]. In her innocence, she cannot make sense of it. But her story becomes a powerful critique of the contemporary society of rich land-owing men lost in the pursuit of their male-centric pleasures to the utter neglect of their womenfolk, who then sought their joys from female company.”

The poster of the movie has a bold and powerful image of two pairs of female legs intertwined on a bed.