Gyaan Adab began its film screening journey with “Building Bridges,” a 60 minute long documentary based on the experiences of Rahul Chandawarkar’s trip to Lahore, Pakistan in the year of 2004 was greatly appreciated by the audience. Several aspects which were encapsulated in the movie were brought to life by the conversation that followed it.
The travelogue is based on the experiences of Rahul Chandawarkar a Pune based journalist and presently the Resident Editor of the Sakal Times, who had led a 12-member Urdu theatre troupe, Raabta Foundation from Pune to Lahore in November 2004 to take part in the World festival for performing arts. The theatre troupe performed the play ‘Jis Lahore Nahin Dekhya’ based on a post-partition theme in Lahore.
Rahul’s documentary film depicted the various moods of Lahore city, which includes interactions with its local people, journalists, academicians and a tour of its many historical monuments. There were some beautiful thoughts that were highlighted through the documentary. It showed how the people of Pakistan respect Indians that travel to their land. It also signified the existence of the everlasting bond of oneness that exists between the two countries.
The screening was followed by a discussion with the film-maker, where questions like “Is there a class or sect of people who feel hostile towards Indians or it just a myth?” “The film seems to be shot post Kargil war, so how did you get permission to shoot?” were asked Rahul elucidated that he and his team did not encounter any hostility from the drivers or paan shop vendors. The very poor people don’t even understand the politics, he said. As far as the permissions were concerned they seem to have faced no problems at all – they were treated like tourists and there were no objections at all.
The audience praised the film for how well it captured the sort of warmth and welcoming demeanour the people of Lahore have towards Indians.
The movie was indeed an eye opener and the round of questions that followed it were rather enlightening as they enabled everyone present at GyanAdab to further understand the thought process of the man behind it all Rahul Chandawarkar.