Amid a slew of movies that fuel the bitterness between Indian Muslims and Hindus, The Good News stands out for being an authentic story told by a Kashmiri Muslim and a Kashmiri Pandit. The film is set to premiere at Tongues on Fire film festival in the UK.
The collaboration between two groups commonly represented as rivals comes at a time when the Bollywood film The Kashmir Filles aggravated the issues of the past.
The Good News is directed by Danish Renzu and a Kashmiri Pandit writer-producer Sunayana Kachroo. The 10-minute short film is an effort to heal the wounds by looking at the common past and sufferings of Kashmir's Muslims and Pandits, said The Hindu report.
The plot revolves around two Hindu-Muslim friends played by Salonie Patel and Gauri Batra. According to the director, the film highlights the element of hope. He says the division caused in the 1990s has impacted all aspects of Kashmir.
He added that the progress of the region has been heavily affected by the communal division. "As a filmmaker, it is my imperative to bring as a filmmaker all different points of view and peoples' plight and sacrifices."
Renzu told The Hindu the project took shape after the killings of members of minorities by gunmen in 2021. "I was in Srinagar when the inhumane incident happened. Whoever was responsible was trying to create a rift in the Valley." He added that the events of September-October 2021 led to the making of The Good News. "It is based on true events and is aimed at bringing people together."
The filmmaker raises the blunt question of how murder is justified on the basis of religion. "The dividing forces in the Valley are trying to upend the peace and pure Sufi Kashmiri culture."
The short film looks back at the common past and explores the Hindu-Muslim relationships through the lens of friendship. Kashmiri Pandit Kachroo says the story is a nostalgic trip to a past where friends shared small joys. "It's tragic how terrorism impacted smallest acts of love, humanity, and identity".