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Screening and Discussion with Rakesh Sharma

* Best Documentary & Critic's Choice,
Hong Kong International Film Festival
* Wolfgang Staudte Award & Special Jury Award, Berlin International Film Festival

Final Solution is a study of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat, India between February 2002 and July 2003, 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. (2004, India, 145 min)

About the Film

Part 1: Pride and Genocide deals with the genocidal violence against Muslims and its immediate aftermath. It probes the patterns of pre-planned violence by right-wing Hindu cadres which many claim was state-supported, if not state-sponsored.

Part 2: The Terror Trail reconstructs through eyewitness accounts the attack on Gulbarg (Ahmedabad) and acts of barbaric violence against Muslim women at Eral and Delol/Kalol (Panchmahals) even as Chief Minister Modi traverses the state on his Gaurav Yatra.

Part 3: 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 (in which 58 Hindus were burnt alive) by the right-wing propaganda machinery for electoral gains.

Part 4: Hope and Despair studies the situation after the storm and its impact on Hindus and Muslims' ghettoisation, the call for economic boycott of Muslims and continuing acts of violence more than a year after the carnage.

About the Director

Rakesh 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 TV and 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.



Interview with Rakesh Sharma
Berlinale Catalogue

"Post-Godhra, hate still threatens: Filmmaker"
Hindustan Times, Apr 15, 2004

"Indian movie shines at Hong Kong festival"
Times of India, Apr 15, 2004

"Polling strings"
Shanta Gokhale, Mid-Day, Feb 17, 2004

"A miss at MIFF, accolades at Berlinale"
Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu, Feb 17, 2004

"Mumbai reject finally shines in Berlin"
Times of India, Feb 17, 2004

"Rakesh Sharma's film wins accolades at Berlin film fest"
IndianTelevision, Feb 16, 2004

"Women from minority community still traumatised"
Piali Banerjee, Times of India, Dec 16, 2003

"The ride is less bumpy"
Shubhra Gupta, Sep 29, 2003, The Hindu Business Line


Berlinale (International premiere), Hong Kong, Fribourg, Istanbul 1001fest, Singapore, Flanders (Belgium), World Social Forum (Mumbai; Indian premiere), Vikalp (Mumbai filmfest organised by Campaign against Censorship) and several other filmfests.


Protest Indian Gov't's Ban on
"Final Solution"
A film by Rakesh Sharma

San Francisco Premiere

Saturday, May 8th, 3PM
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94117
Harney Science Center, Room 232
Golden Gate Ave./Chabot Terrace
(Phone: 415-422-5555)

Other Screenings

Thursday, May 6th, 6PM
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Earth and Marine Sciences, B-214
Steinhart Way (Phone: 831.459.4158)

Friday, May 7th, 7PM
Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA 94305
Bldg. 370, Room 370
450 Serra Mall (Phone: 650-723-2300)


Download Print Flyer
(219 KB)

U.S. tour sponsored by Singh Foundation.

Bay area screenings sponsored by:

3rd I SF - South Asian Independent Films

Ctr. for Pacific Rim &
Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies

University of San Francisco

Ctr. for Global, Regional and Int'l. Studies;
Ctr. for Cultural Studies
; &

Ctr. for Justice, Tolerance and Community

University of California, Santa Cruz

Dept. of Cultural & Social Anthropology
California Institute of Integral Studies

Dept. of Cultural & Social Anthropology

Stanford University


Friends of South Asia (FOSA)

Indian Muslim Council (IMC)

Institute for the Study of Natural and
Cultural Resources, Berkeley

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