I am not the river Jhelum
India. 2022. 95 min
The film shows glimpses of the life of its young protagonist Afeefa living in Kashmir. On the one hand, the film explores the suffocation and trauma experienced by Afeefa in her personal life and, on the other hand, the film evokes the atmosphere of perpetual uncertainty and violence in the milieu. In following the life of Afeefa, the film traces her growing understanding of the forces at play in Kashmir, India.
Born and brought up in Bihar, India, Prabhash Chandra is the artistic director of Alpana Theatre. He is a postgraduate from the Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi. He has directed, adapted and acted in numerous plays for over a decade now. Currently, he is a visiting faculty at the University of Delhi. He has directed a documentary, ‘Mera Ram Kho Gaya’ (2019) which received critical acclaim. I’m Not The River Jhelum (Be Ches Ne Veth) is his first feature fiction film.
For over many decades, life in Kashmir has been filled with uncertainty and violence. The worst sufferers in this situation are children and women in the sense that the basic human rights to freedom and education are denied to them. From what I gathered from my visits to Kashmir and in my interactions with the people, I felt a great many views exist, in conflict with each other within Kashmir as well as outside – in ‘mainland’ India. I felt that there is a huge gap between the perception and the ground reality of Kashmir. It has been a challenge for me to comprehend the complex universe of Kashmir and to attempt to evoke this in my first feature film.