• Kashmiriyat (aka The Infidel)
  • J.J. Lydecker
  • Drama Scouted Available Unrepped
  • 80.8
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Loglines
After losing her husband and son to Islamist extremism in late 1980s Kashmir, a tough Kashmiri Muslim nurse decides to harbor and protect two wounded Indian army deserters on the run from their superiors and militants, placing her life in extreme jeopardy.
In 1989, a humble Muslim nurse is forced to watch her husband killed by controlling Muslim insurgents, and her son defect to their cause in a desperate attempt to keep from being exiled by the Indian government that seeks the exile of Muslims. After finding a pair of injured Indian army deserters in her home, the nurse agrees to look after them until her son returns, but when her teenage neighbor finds out and tries to help, the tragic consequences of their actions affect both families for decades to come.
In 1989 India, when dangerous tensions between the army and Islamic militants present the unyielding threat of violence, a young boy bonds with his neighbor, a nurse whose husband is murdered by the Islamic rebels and whose son leaves to join their cause anyway. When she secretly takes in two injured army deserters in an effort to save their lives, she risks her own life and well being, and eventually that of the devoted boy who refuses to flee their neighborhood despite her pleas.
On a journey to his childhood home for the first time in years, a man finds the journal of the neighbor he saw as a maternal figure. In reading it, he relives his neighbor’s choice to help two deserters in the midst of political tension between insurgents and the Indian army.
Format
Genres
Drama, Historical, Family, War, Adolescence, Female Protagonist, Foreign Locale, Mother/Son, Racially Based, Soldier, Son, Terrorist, Tragedy, Violence/Violent, Warrior
Pages
108
Rated
R
Budget
Low
Lead
F Arabic 35 Average
Similar
The Kite Runner, The English Patient, The Book Thief, Paradise Now, The Namesake, The Stoning of Soraya M
When
1989-1990, with Scenes in the Present
Where
100% India including villages in Kashmir, with various homes, a backyard shed, a hospital, several stores, a migrant camp, bridge, a river, and mountain roads, and New Delhi with apartments, an office, and a hotel

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Synopsis
In a migrant camp in Kashmir, shop owner NEEL (60’s) falls ill. His nephew in New Deli, KUNAL DHAR (42), receives a call that Neel has had a stroke, and is asking for someone named “Sakeena.” Before traveling to Kashmir, Kunal watches his girlfriend TARA (30’s) pack up her things and leave him.

At Neel’s bedside, Kunal tells Neel that he still hasn’t forgiven Sakeena. Neel tells Kunal that there’s something he’s never told Kunal, and he left something at the migrant camp for him. Neel soon dies.

Kunal gathers Neel’s things at the camp, and comes across a journal. It is Sakeena’s, and as he begins to read it, her story unfolds. 

In 1989, SAKEENA (30’s) brushes off husband ALI’s (40’s) fears about the increasingly hostile environment in their area, where Islamic insurgents, led by AAFIQ REZA (20’s), spark violence in the name of freedom from the Indian government that seeks to exile them. As Sakeena’s son KABIR (16) hangs out outside with cousin HASSAN (17), and YOUNG KUNAL (16), who is their lone Hindu neighbor, Aafiq and his militants arrive. They call Ali a traitor for working with the government, and shoot him. 

In the present, Kunal has Neel’s body cremated, and...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (RECOMMEND)
“Kashmiriyat” is a historical drama about a nurse who harbors an injured enemy soldier during a volatile conflict between Muslim insurgents and Indian military in 1990 Kashmir. A compelling premise sees two characters fight through intense conflict, internal and external, and suffer the consequences of becoming the angry, vengeful individuals that their circumstances force them to be. Tone, pacing, and structure support an engaging plot that follows these two characters through their most relevant difficulties, and while cause and effect are strong, a clearer view of the larger context may be necessary to fully appreciate the narrative. Its unique setting and alternative, highly personal view on an otherwise broad political topic is commendable. “Kashmiriyat” seems only in need of some polishing, as it’s already achieved its aim of being an affecting, character driven drama that stays with the viewer....
Reader 2 Comments
OVERALL (RECOMMEND)
This harrowing drama about a young boy and a nurse caught in the dangerous tensions between the army and Islamic rebels in 1989 India features plenty of strengths. Chief amongst these is the ongoing moral dilemmas that define the course for almost all the characters, who experience high stakes conflicts from start to finish. The pace is steady and carried by the tension inherent to the conflicts, which goes hand in hand with a dramatic but ultimately heartfelt tone. The realities of a little known time and place feel genuine and offer an original angle to an otherwise classic look at wartime desperation. More could be done to establish a stronger reason for the bleak but seemingly necessary devotion some of the characters have to their specific side in an effort to offer stronger character motives and ease understanding and logic. Some of this could be done by improving the dialogue presence of the leader these character pledge allegiance to. ...
Reader 3 Comments
OVERALL (CONSIDER)
After finding his neighbor’s journal, a man reads about how she risked her life to treat and conceal two Indian army deserters. This premise offers ample opportunity for conflict to emerge and characters to evolve. Throughout the plot, the characters face escalating conflict that contains risks for the characters’ wellbeing. Because of this, scenes consistently build tension and provide a dark and dramatic tone. Additionally, the protagonist’s diary is an effective narrative device that links arcs together. Action description brings to life the world the characters inhabit as well. Yet, while dialogue is conversational, the characters’ motivations for their actions could be shown in greater detail to enhance the believability of some of their choices....