SHAHIDby The Daily Eye Team December 11 2013, 5:27 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 31 secs
True story of slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi, an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary commitment to justice. From attempting to become a terrorist to being wrongly imprisoned under a draconian anti-terrorism law to becoming a criminal lawyer Shahid traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy who became an unlikely messiah for human rights while following the rise of communal violence in India.
Festivals & Awards
World Premiere – Toronto Film Festival, 2012
Centerpiece Film – 13th Annual New York Indian Film Festival, 2012
14th Mumbai Film Festival, India, 2012
10th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, Germany, 2013
“Shahid was born out of growing angst about our times and also the need to break my own creative inertia. His story stared at me in the face. A young man, a lawyer killed in his office by unknown assailants and a journey that was truly remarkable. I think Shahid had an unfinished legacy that I was destined to take forward. Shahid reflects the concerns and frustration I have expressed in my earlier films about the common man and his inability to become a vehicle of change while complaining incessantly. The difference is that Shahid is inspired by a real life and despite the loss of a young life the film offers an optimistic future for the world provided we the people are willing to be the change. It was Shahid’s story that offered so much hope in the midst of such despair that prompted my decision contrary to the belief that I did it because my wife is Muslim. Issues like religious minorities, division and discrimination are part of this remarkable story. I have not taken these up consciously and I do not attempt to preach through the film. I just hope my film opens up sensible discourse around the country and audiences go back home examining their own prejudices and the way they lead their lives.”
– Hansal Mehta
HANSAL MEHTA made his directorial debut in 1998 with Jayate, a languid tale on Indian judiciary, medical malpractice and ordinary human lives in Mumbai. This was followed by the dark, tragic and funny Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000), a film that reflected Hansal’s concern for the increasingly marginalized immigrants in the city of Bombay and a stylish gangster flick Chhal (2002). He then went on to explore the mainstream with films like Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai? (2002), Raakh (2005) and Woodstock Villa (2008). He then took an extended sabbatical to explore social work, rural life and new stories. His work has always been and continues to be well received in independent Indian cinema, especially because of his early films that reflected various sub-cultures that inhabit the complex city of Mumbai. His latest film Shahid (2012) is the result of this soul-searching mission and a return to roots for Hansal. Shahid is a deeply personal story that reflects Hansal’s anger and concern towards religious/class based/racial intolerance around the world.