Bay Area Premiere of Film
by Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zia Mian
CROSSING THE LINES: KASHMIR,
"A compelling fresh look at
an age old problem that could be the spark of a nuclear war." -Ahmed Rashid,
author of Taliban
"This film violates the grand
narrative of nationalism on all sides. It shocks with its unfamiliar humanity." -
Khaled Ahmed, Daily Times
religion have entangled the fate of Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians for
over 5 decades. After four wars, Kashmiris and their land are divided between
Pakistan and India, the source of recurring crises. Many feel that the next
war may be a nuclear war. In this tragedy, each side tells the story of the
injustice and violence of the other, and feels only the suffering of their
own. This path-breaking independent documentary film, made in Pakistan, challenges
us to look at Kashmir with new eyes and to hope for a new way forward.
Interviews of key figures and
ordinary people from every side, rare archival footage and computer animations
weave together a rich and moving narrative. We hear leading Kashmiri militants
voice the frustration of their hopes for democracy and their desperate rebellion
against oppressive Indian rule. We see how Pakistan's relentless determination
to confront India created an Islamic holy war that brought terror and death
to Kashmir. Radical Hindu leaders in India and Islamic militants in Pakistan
explain their shared conviction that Kashmir is part of a greater struggle
that knows no limits. We discover how amid rising religious passions, governments
in India and Pakistan seek to build national identity through cultivating
prejudice and hatred towards the other. We explore how creating and changing
bitterly contested borders offers little prospect for peace and justice.
The film chronicles the wars,
the failed efforts at peace and the daily toll this failure exacts on those
caught on the frontline of this dispute. It shows how India and Pakistan's
dramatic nuclear tests spurred the conflict to new heights, and explores
the ways in which India's great power ambitions, and the interests of the
Pakistani army, continue to make peace so elusive.
Rejecting the national ambitions
of Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians alike, the film offers a vision of a
shared future for all of South Asia built on a common humanity.
Produced for the Eqbal Ahmad
Foundation, 2004 (45 minutes)
Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy received
his bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, master's
in solid state physics, and Ph.D in nuclear physics, all from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. He has been a faculty member at the Department of
Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad since 1973.
In 1984 he received the Abdus
Salam Prize for mathematics and, earlier, the Baker Award for Electronics.
In 2003, Dr. Hoodbhoy was awarded UNESCO`s Kalinga Prize for popularizing
science in Pakistan with TV serials and his film `The Bell Tolls for Planet
Earth` won honorable mention at the Paris Film Festival.
He is chairman of Mashal, a
non-profit organization that publishes books in Urdu on women's rights, education,
environmental issues, philosophy, and modern thought.
Dr. Hoodbhoy has written and
spoken extensively on topics ranging from science in Islam to education issues
in Pakistan and nuclear disarmament. He produced a 13-part documentary series
in Urdu for Pakistan Television on critical issues in education, and two
other major television series aimed at popularizing science. He is author
of "Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality",
now in 5 languages. His writings have appeared in Dawn, The News, Frontier
Post, Muslim, Newsline, Herald, Jang, and overseas in Le Monde, Japan Times,
Washington Post, Asahi, Seattle Times, Post-Intelligencer, Frontline, The
Hindu, and Chowk Magazine.
He has been an engaged speaker
at more than twenty US campuses including MIT, Princeton, Univ. of Maryland,
and Johns Hopkins University. He has appeared on several TV and radio networks
(BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR, Fox) to analyze political developments in
South Asia. (Source: Peace and World Security Studies website (PAWSS), Hampshire
Dr. Hoodbhoy lives in Islamabad,
Zia Mian is a physicist
and member of the research staff at Princeton University's Program on Science
and Global Security. His work focuses on nuclear weapons and nuclear power
issues, especially in South Asia.
His work is published in technical
journals and magazines, as well as newspapers in a number of countries. He
is the co-editor, most recently, of Out of the Nuclear Shadow with Smitu
Earlier books include Pakistan's
Atomic Bomb and the Search for Security and Making Enemies, Creating Conflict:
Pakistan's Crises of State and Society. He has previously worked at the Union
of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, MA, and the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute in Islamabad.
He has taught at Princeton's
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, at Yale University,
and at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. In addition to his research and
writing, he is active with a number of civil society groups working in the
area of nuclear disarmament and with the peace movement.