Screening and Discussion
with RAKESH SHARMA
Final Solution is a study of the politics of hate.
Set in Gujarat, India, the film graphically documents the changing
face of right-wing politics in India through a study of the 2002
genocide of Muslims in Gujarat. The film examines the aftermath of
the deadly violence that followed the burning of 58 Hindus on the
Sabarmati Express train at Godhra on February 27 2002. In “reaction” to
that incident, some 2,500 Muslims were brutally murdered, hundreds
of women raped, and more than 200,000 families driven from their
homes. Borrowing its reference from the
history of Nazism, the title of the film exposes what the film director
calls 'Indian Fascism' and seeks to remind that “those
who forget history are condemned to relive it."
About the Film
Part 1: Pride and Genocide deals
with the carnage and its immediate aftermath. It examines the patterns
of pre-planned genocidal violence (by right-wing Hindutva cadres),
which many claim was state-supported, if not state-sponsored. The
film reconstructs through eyewitness accounts the attack on Gulbarg
and Patiya (Ahmedabad) and acts of barbaric violence against Moslem
women at Eral and Delol/Kalol (Panchmahals) even as Chief Minister
Modi traverses the state on his Gaurav Yatra.
Part 2 : The Hate Mandate documents
the poll campaign during the Assembly elections in Gujarat in late
2002. It records in detail the exploitation of the Godhra incident
by the right-wing propaganda machinery for electoral gains. The film
studies and documents the situation months after the elections to
find shocking faultlines – voluntary ghettoisation, segregation
in schools, formal calls for economic boycott of Moslems and continuing
acts of violence.
Solution was banned in India by the Censor Board for
several months. The ban was recently lifted after a sustained campaign
petition, hundreds of protest screenings countrywide, multi-city
signature campaigns and dozens of letters to the Government sent
by audiences directly). Final Solution was also rejected by the government-run
Mumbai International Film Festival,
was screened at Vikalp:
Films for Freedom (http://www.freedomfilmsindia.org), organised
by the Campaign
Against Censorship. Rakesh Sharma has been an active member of the
Campaign since its inception.
* Wolfgang Staudte Award & Special
Jury Award (Netpac), Berlin International Film Festival
* Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary, HongKong
International Film Festival
* Silver Dhow (Best Doc category), Zanzibar
International Film Festival
* Best Feature-Length Documentary, Big
* Special Jury Mention, Munich Dokfest
for the prestigious Grierson Award (UK)
* Special Award by NRIs for a Secular and
Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI), NY-NJ, USA
Berlinale (International premiere; Feb 2004), HongKong, Fribourg, Sao
Paulo, 3 Continents Filmfest (South
Africa), Hot Docs (Canada), Vancouver, Zanzibar, Durban, Vermont
International Film Festival (USA), Asiatica Filmmediale (Rome), Leeds (UK), Cork (Ireland), Bogota (Colombia), Commonwealth Film
Festival (UK), One World Filmfest (Prague), Academia
Olomouc (Czech), Voces Contra el Silencio (Mexico), Istanbul
1001fest, Singapore, Flanders (Belgium), International Film Festival of
Human Rights (Spain), South
Asian Film Festivals (New
York, Seattle, Dallas), World Social Forum (Mumbai), Vikalp (organised
by Campaign against Censorship) and several other filmfests.
About the Director
Sharma began his film/TV career in 1986 as an assistant director
on Shyam Benegal's Discovery of India. His broadcast industry experience
includes the set up/ launch of 3 broadcast channels in India: Channel
[V], Star Plus and Vijay TVand several production consultancy assignments.
He has now gone back to independent documentary film-making.
His last film Aftershocks:
The Rough Guide to Democracy won the Best documentary film
award at Fribourg, Big Mini-DV and at Big Muddy and won 7 other
awards (including the Robert Flaherty prize) at various festivals
in USA and Europe during 2002-03. It has been screened at over
90 international film festivals. Aftershocks was also rejected
by the government-run Mumbai International film festival in 2002.
with Rakesh Sharma
hate still threatens: Filmmaker"
Hindustan Times, Apr 15, 2004
movie shines at Hong Kong festival"
Times of India, Apr 15, 2004
Shanta Gokhale, Mid-Day, Feb 17, 2004
miss at MIFF, accolades at Berlinale"
Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu, Feb 17, 2004
reject finally shines in Berlin"
Times of India, Feb 17, 2004
Sharma's film wins accolades at Berlin film fest"
IndianTelevision, Feb 16, 2004
from minority community still traumatised"
Piali Banerjee, Times of India, Dec 16, 2003
ride is less bumpy"
Shubhra Gupta, Sep 29, 2003, The Hindu Business