“Writing a blog for lamhaa- this week”, Rahul Dholakia promised on Twitter a few days ago. And indeed the director of Parzania fame whose Kashmir film Lamhaa will be released on Friday has a lot to tell – about the two and a half years of preparation and research, about the people in Kashmir he met and talked to (hundred and fifty recorded interviews) and about the production of this film where the crew more than once was in danger to be shot.
The first blog entry Lamhaa: The Beautiful Prison was online on Sunday. Here Rahul gives us parts of an interview he made with a separatist leader in Kashmir, and tells how the Lamhaa crew shot a scene in the Jama Masjid, and that too on ‘Aakhri Jumma’: “We had to position our cameras eight hours prior to the speech and stay put. No food, no water, no ciggies as well- for a constant 12 hours for a possible 12 second shot in the film. At the Masjid, there is only one entrance and exit, and people are sitting so close to each other that it’s tough for a fly to go past. Imagine a stampede in this situation! What was even crazier was, that I had to explain to the crew, that some militants may be present and they may shoot some rounds of AK47 in the air, and you must not panic! I was in two minds to take my unit through this shoot. Though we had the support, there was no guarantee that there would not be any trouble- after all it is Kashmir, and we were in a mosque and were Hindus. This sequence was important to the film and we had to get it- when we did finally shoot it, the entire unit (5 man crew) was really relieved, and I was certain, Lamhaa may face difficulties, but we will pull it through!”
Read more: http://passionforcinema.com/lamhaa-the-beautiful-prison/
On Monday followed the blog entry Lamhaa : AK47. Rahul talks about his script writers and about the Kashmiri Pandits and Jawans and the plights and problems they are facing every day. “Kashmir is full of uncertain Lamhaa’s. We were visiting Lolab Valley, one of the most dangerous places in Kashmir. The valley is surrounded by 4 huge mountains, each giving shelter to one terrorist group- the strongest being Lashkar. My interaction here with the brigadier and majors was eye opening. Shocking stories of the forces- from corruption in the RAW and Army to the day-to-day battle for survival of the jawans, were narrated over the days that I stayed there. When it was time to leave, they suggested I take another route, one that was a bit longer but less dangerous. My car had been marked by the locals and the information they got, was that there were land mines placed along the way, so that our car would blow up!”
Read more: http://passionforcinema.com/lamhaa-ak47/
Lamhaa starring Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor and Anupam Kher will be releasing worldwide on Friday, July 16.