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Nothing is apolitical in this world: Praveen Morchhale on the inspiration for Widow Of Silence

Director Praveen Morchhale talks about his latest film Widow Of Silence, which was screened at the Kolkata film festival.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

National award-winner Praveen Morchhale’s latest film, Widow Of Silence, had its India premiere at the Kolkata International Film Festival.

Morchhale's earlier film, Walking With The Wind (2017), won three National awards last year and left audiences awestruck by the simplicity of the story and the breathtaking cinematography that captured Ladakh's landscape in a manner not seen before.

Morchhale is a filmmaker who struggles to keep up with the rush of stories in his head. His latest came about when he was intrigued by the so-called half-widows of Kashmir.

The film explores the predicament of a 'half-widow' as she jostles with the bureaucracy to get a shot at a semblance of normalcy in a life dictated by the absence of her husband.

Praveen Morchhale

Speaking to Cinestaan.com about his film, Morchhale said, “When I heard this phrase half-widow about a year and a half back, I was disturbed. I started doing research on this and found many articles on half-widows and their plight over a period of 30 years."

Morchhale was also struck by the fact that no one had made a film on the subject and that most Indians remained unaware of what is happening with these women.

"Within 5-7 days, I was in Kashmir doing research and met a few of these widows," he said. "When I met them, they immediately started crying and one of them said people do not consider them as humans, as alive."

On the basis of the research material he had collected, court cases and other material in the public domain, Morchhale wrote his story, creating a situation in which he could tell the story of these women as well as of Kashmir's social and political situation.

Speaking about the politics of the film, he said, “This film is very political in the sense that even if we do not talk, we are political. Nothing is apolitical in this world. If something wrong is happening and we keep quiet, that is also politics.

"The most important thing I felt is that these women deserve a dignified life in society, which we have failed to provide.”

Watch this space for the full interview with Praveen Morchhale.

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Kolkata International Film Festival