Made by a Pakistani filmmaker, Sabiha Sumar, who lives in Delhi, this film won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival winner.
The back story of the film is of a Sikh girl rescued by a Muslim man who then marries her. Years pass and the man dies, but the child born of their love is an adult now.
It is however the late 1970s and Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise in Pakistan due to General Zia-ul-Haq's strict introduction of Shariat laws. The son gets indoctrinated into this ideology by two fundamentalists who come into the fairly tolerant village, despite the efforts of a liberal and compassionate mother.
The son discovers the past of his mother and rejects her, despite her having broken free from her own past when she rejects her own Sikh brother who has come to the village for pilgrimage from India and manages to trace her.
Helpless and dejected, the woman jumps and ends her life in the same well, from where she had escaped death decades back during Partition. It is a touching, universal story that is handled with poise, sensitivity and restraint, and like Garm Hava, makes a desperate plea for tolerance in a world growing increasingly volatile towards those that are 'different'.
Image: Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar showed rare maturity and sensitivity in her debut film Khamosh Pani