Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2009 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project Dreaming Taj Mahal
Category PIFF Supporters Fund
Project Dreaming Taj Mahal
Director Nirmal Chander DANDRIYAL
Country India
Director's Profile Nirmal Chander has been working as an editor and associate director for more than a decade. He made his directorial debut in 2008 with an hour long documentary [All the World's a Stage] (2008) on a performance group called Sidi Goma. The film has travelled to several international festivals. [Dreaming Taj Mahal] is his second venture.
 
Synopsis
Haidar, a taxi driver by profession, has a dream of going to India to see the Taj Mahal. The only problem is that he lives in Pakistan! Why is Haidar's dream so impossible to achieve? Is it because the Indian government sees him as a potential spy? Is it because he is a Muslim and a Pakistani? Or is it simply because he is a common man who has no strings to pull? Thirty-three year-old Haidar lives in Rawalpindi, six hours by road from the Indian border. His family – wife and two children - live in the village because he cannot afford the expense of raising them in the city. He visits them occasionally, perhaps once a month. To see how Haidar's dream can be given a voice, and what it means for all of us, I, an Indian filmmaker, crossed the border in October 2007.
Director's Note
I have often wondered when India and Pakistan will leave behind the baggage of pain, anguish, suspicion, hostility and move on. It was natural that when the opportunity to visit Pakistan presented itself, I was elated. It was a chance to meet 'the other,’ perhaps even to understand things as they are and not as mediated through the vested agenda of the media or, even worse, politicians. In following Haidar’s dream of seeing the Taj Mahal, I hope to question how the rights of a nation state to protect its border affect the human rights and desire for free movement. And to see how freer movement and dialogue between the common people can, in fact, make the countries more secure.
Festivals
Still Cut
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