Film on 26/11 Mumbai attacks under fire
US-based filmmaker Parthiban Shanmugan’s 10-minute short film on one of the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 has earned the ire of the Taliban in Lahore.
Titled A Letter to the Terrorist, the film features Kia Scherr who lost her husband and daughter to terrorism during her stay in the city. A human rights organization in Pakistan was keen on taking the film forward to as many students as possible. The film revolves around Kia who is the wife and mother of American tourists Allen and Naomi Scherr who were shot dead by terrorists on 26/11 respectively. In the film, she’s trying to contact Ajmal Kasab through a letter. However, she fails to deliver the note as none were allowed by the government to make any contact with him.
“They had made several arrangements through a film festival organization in Lahore and Karachi. Unfortunately, the word-of-mouth worked against us as the news spread and the next thing we know there is an official ban from the Taliban,” says the Atlanta-based director.
Incidentally, the director doesn’t seem keen to contest the verdict passed on his film by the terror unit. Says Shanmugan, “It’s an awkward as well as a dangerous situation. They (Taliban) haven’t even seen the film to object. Also, I don’t wish to jeopardize lives by insisting on going ahead with the plan.” When asked if his film will get an India release, the director says, “We’ve already applied for the Censor Board certificate. Once it’s obtained, it will be screened in India.”