Valley of Saints is the first film set in Kashmir’s Lake Dal, one of Kashmir’s fragile lake communities as it is endangered because of political instability and ecological problems related to overpopulation. The film’s main character, Gulzar, is a local boat guide who wants to flee his country because of war and poverty. But his plans are derailed by political unrest and a strict military curfew, and he has to remain in his village, where he meets a young woman who braves the curfew to study the pollution of the lake. Written and directed by Musa Syeed, Valley of Saints brings together, with superb photography combined with documentary insights, the themes of violence, social inequality, and environmental destruction in a region marked by territorial disputes, insurgency, and repression.
This film runs 1 hour and 22 minutes.
A post-screening discussion will be led by Fareen Parvez, current Member and Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst; and Nafeesa Syeed, current Director’s Visitor and an award-winning freelance journalist who covers South Asia, among other areas.
This is the second film in the series Economy and Society, curated by the School of Social Science.