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How Indian and Pakistani filmmakers wrestled with the ghosts of Partition

Asian cinema has treated the subject very differently to its western counterpart—and produced a wealth of artistic delights in the process. But as memories of partition fade, will the genre decline?

By Burhan Wazir  

The world’s largest democracy was born in the full glare of the cameras. Approaching midnight on 14th August, 1947, India’s first Prime Minister Jawahrlal Nehru’s famous “Tryst with destiny” speech in parliament was captured by Agence France-Presse and Reuters. The speech was also recorded by local film producing bodies Wadia Movietone and Motwane Company.

In the 70 years since Indian and Pakistani independence, the end of nearly two centuries of colonial rule has…

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