Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh

(Punjabi/1999/120mins) | Dir: Manoj Punj

19-Aug-2017 | 03:00 PM | Gulmohar

Synopsis: Allegedly based on a true event, the film revolves around post-Partition Sikh identity and the impossibility of a postcolonial homecoming. Boota Singh (Gurdas Maan), a Sikh and former soldier of the British Indian Army, saves a Muslim woman from being chased by a mob of local rioters by securing her custody through monetary exchange. They subsequently fall in love and start a family. But owing to the inter-nation Recovery Operations, which required that the women abducted during the Partition should be returned to their “home” countries (that is, natal families) with or without their consent, Singh’s wife, Zainab (Divya Dutta) is forcibly deported to Pakistan. What follows is Singh’s quest for Zainab and a betrayal that has consolidated his position in the collective memory of Pakistan as an enduring symbol of love. While the film portrays conventional beliefs around female honour and its defilement, it shows the male body as having undergone the trauma of displacement as well. Painting Singh as a martyr, the film interweaves masculinity and (dis)honour in a transcendent narrative of lost love.

Cast: Gurdas Maan, Divya Dutta, Arun Bakshi, Raghuvir Yadav, Gurkirtan, B.N. Sharma

Production: Omkar Bhakhri

Screenplay: Suraj Sanim

Cinematography: Parmod Mittal

Music: Amar Haldipur

Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Punjabi

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