Five Indian films with a Kashmiri connect

To explore the valley vicariously


News - India & You

July 6, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

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A scene from Fitoor, which showcased some landscapes from Kashmir

A scene from Fitoor, which showcased some landscapes from Kashmir

Kashmir, a space associated with strife and conflict has always captured the imaginations of Indian cinema.

Kashmir, located towards the northern part of India evokes a plethora of emotions amongst people of the Indian subcontinent and neighbouring countries. The location, noted for its scenic beauty and unique arts and handicrafts has been covered many times in mainstream Indian cinema as well as independent cinema. Whether love stories, war dramas, or re-tellings of classic English literature, there are many movies with a Kashmiri connect. Here are some diverse kinds of cinema to watch to experience Kashmir from a distance.


A Hamlet inspired hard hitting film that touched on several socio-political issues, playing out as a perfect Shakespearean play, Haider is a must watch for those looking to get a glimpse into the current situation in this troubled region. Not only did the Vishal Bharadwaj film transform the context of the Victorian-England Hamlet to the troubled territory of Kashmir which becomes a political background for the Indian and Pakistani states alike, he also managed to do so with a memorable cinematography that showcased many shades of Kashmir.

Valley of Saints

A movie that captures the dark side and intensity of the situation in the picturesque Kashmir valley, Valley of Saints is a blend of art and reality. This film speaks about a young man named Gulzar’s story whilst also capturing the condition of the lake in his village, from which he is unable to escape after a military crackdown. The film managed to bag the World Dramatic Audience Award in 2012 at the renowned Sundance Film Festival.


A movie that is said to take its storyline from the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations, Fitoor’s plot didn’t turn out too impressive. Yet, the aesthetic captured by the film is what makes it worth a watch, in addition to an impressive performance by the stunning actress Tabu as begum. With images of the Kashmiri handicrafts interspersed with a colour palate that paints a pretty picture, the movie offers a peek into the Kashmiri look that has been an obsession for many, along with a passing reference to the character of the leading lady ‘s intentions of being wed to a Pakistani man as a problematic case.


Lakshya captures the coming of age of a young man who is unsure of his future and enlists himself in the army, in the backdrop of the Kargil War that took place in the Indo-Pak border almost 18 years ago. Released in 2004, this film captures both the personal story of the young man played by Hrithik Roshan and the tense military and political situation between India and Pakistan at the time, with the site of these tensions being situated in Kashmir.


A dramatic love affair that involves espionage and insurgency is the central theme of Fanaa for which the battleground is Kashmir. The leading lady Kajol, an iconic actress in India, made her ‘comeback’ into cinema with this film, where she played the role of a Kashmiri woman who was blind when she fell in love with an insurgent. Later, the story takes a political turn with the state authorities involved as well as the choice between love and patriotism.

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