Documentaries relive flood fury in Kashmir

Some of them have been screened at various places in India and others have been invited at international fora. Here are some of the documentaries that focused on the event.

The September 2014 flood which was one of the worst to hit Kashmir in its living memory has also become one of the widely documented naturalcatastrophes.

Right from covering it extensively by local, national and international media, the aftermath has also been continuously in news. The filmmakers have been at the forefront of captivating the tragic event and they have come up with number of documentaries.

Some of them have been screened at various places in India and others have been invited at international fora. Here are some of the documentaries that focused on the event.

Into the murky waters: One of the best documentaries to have come out of Kashmir in the recent times, Into the Murky Waters has been praised for its treatment of subject. The highly researched documentary has been made by filmmakers Wajahat Kishtwari and Tariq Bhat. The documentary has already been screened at various places in Kashmir including the Kashmir University.

The documentary follows the floods right from the time weather started to deteriorate and its culmination in unprecedented rains. With excellent graphics the documentary shows how the city was inundated and how it could have been saved. The documentary proved that the government had 18 hour window of opportunity but it chose nothing to do.

The 52 minute documentary has done an indepth analysis of the September deluge. The documentary consists of interviews of some of the top experts in their fields and also version of Government of India over the long delayed alternate flood channel.

Kashmir Flood-Help the Vale Rise: The documentary by Bilal A Jan and produced by Care Kashmir International is also receiving critical acclaim from audience. The documentary now available on CD has some moving images wherein the helplessness of people is shown amidst indifferent attitude from government.

The documentary has been directed by Bilal A Jan whose last documentary Ocean of Tears won a lot of appreciation and also earned a ban from government for being too critical. The documentary highlighted the tragedy as it happened and put a focus on the devastation caused to Kashmir’s health sector.

The SMHS alone suffered a damage of Rs 100 crores, as was shown in the documentary. The audience members were seen gasping as shots of houses collapsing and dead bodies being retrieved played before them. The other main focus of the documentary included the valour of youths who did a commendable job in rescue and relief operations.

The documentary made at a modest budget of Rs 1.30 lakhs was highly critical of government “who failed before the floods, during the floods and after the floods.”

Sailabnama – Kashmir Calling: The documentary made by two Kashmiri students- Qazi Zaid and Sheikh Saaliq-who went back to their homeland after learning of devastating floods to help with the rescue mission. As documentary synopsis says, “despite Indian TV reports about the heroic efforts of the army in saving lives, it is the first time they (directors) have seen their conflicted land devoid of the pervasive Indian military presence that has marred their lives.” The documentary won praise at its screening at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia sponsored Aaina Film Festival.

The film was shot during the floods while the film makers were involved in volunteer work, the directors say. The film looks at the devastation caused by the floods but also the spirit of the people who come forward and work together in the face of adversity.

Produced by Richa Pant and Simon Chambers – Faculty at Mass Communication and Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, the film is 20 minute long with music composition from famous Kashmiri Rap Singer, Roushan Illahi aka MC Kash. The film was shot during their 15-day visit to Kashmir starting on the second day of flood fury.

September Himalayan Floods: (un)avoidable deluge: The latest in the edition of list of documentaries is the “September Himalayan Floods: (un)avoidable deluge,” by EMMRC Department of Kashmir University. The recently released 32-minute film raises and tries to find out answers to various questions about the September 2014 floods that devastated Kashmir causes of floods and the people responsible for it.

The documentary directed by Dr Shahid Rasool and Inamul Rehman tries to get to the fact by raising many questions. The documentary focuses on the causes of the flood and tries to find out if it could have been avoided. Was it a man made or a natural disaster? The film also raises questions about our disaster management preparedness.

Besides these documentaries there are many other too worth mentioning. Indian Army too commissioned its documentary by the name of Operation Megh Rahat, which is also available on Youtube. The documentary gives their version of events of how they helped the people in adverse situation. Tufan 2 by Big Art film also came up with a small documentary on the floods. A 9 minute documentary titled “Two days on death bed” by Shahid Imran had some very good footage as it revolved around a reporter and a cameramen who after going to cover the floods themselves were trapped in it. A documentary by Sikh Organization for Prisoner Welfare (SOPW) follows some of the victims of the Kashmir floods and the SOPW team distributing aid. Besides almost all news channels came up with their small documentaries or other programmes.

NDTV 24×7’s The Buck Stops Here – Srinagar Floods Coverage presented by Burkha Dutt has been nominated for the 2015 International Emmy Award under News & Current Affairs categories.

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