May 2014

Cross-LoC film bridges Kashmir’s divide

Pawan Bali and Muhammad Urfi
Faith Divided is the second documentary of a planned trilogy on Jammu and Kashmir, filmed for the first time on either side of the Line of Control (LoC). It highlights the impact of conflict on the lives of communities on either side of the divide. 

Watch Faith Divided here. 

Faith Divided captures the effect of the conflict on people of all faiths on either side of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. But it also captures the resilient spirit amongst them, giving hope for future peace and stability in the region.

Ameya Kilara, India, Pakistan and Kashmir Projects Manager

Seven decades of conflict have imposed severe restrictions of movement across the LoC. As a result, many people on either side have been prevented from undertaking pilgrimages to shrines of great spiritual importance on the other side. Faith Divided provides a reflective illustration of how this separation has impacted people across different faiths. Despite these harsh realities and ingrained divisions, the people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to display resilience, transcending current circumstances and offering hope to the situation. 
Supported by Conciliation Resources, an international peacebuilding organisation based in London, Faith Divided was jointly directed by Muhammad Arif Uri (a journalist from Pakistan-administered Kashmir) and Pawan Bali (a journalist from India-administered Kashmir) with contribution from Mohammad Irfan Dar (a documentary filmmaker from India-administered Kashmir). Both directors have not been able to meet in Jammu and Kashmir, but rather filmed separately and then met outside the region to edit the film jointly. As a cross-LoC collaborative project, the process of shooting and editing the film is as important as the messages it contains, transforming the attitudes and relationships of those who have participated in the project. 
Their first documentary film, A Journey Through River Vitasta, has been widely screened both in the region as well as with international audiences and has been positively received. 

These religious places are of special importance for the people who have migrated from the Indian and Pakistani sides of Jammu and Kashmir and I think if these people are given a chance to travel across to visit these places it will help them build relationships and restore their spiritual lives. The conflict is not between the people of the area. It is a political conflict over the land.

Muhammad Arif Urfi, journalist and co-director of Faith Divided

Watch an interview with one of the film's Directors here. 
Read more about work in Jammu and Kashmir here.