With his second Pakistani film that is slated for a release soon, veteran and versatile actor Naseeruddin Shah shares his view on Pakistani cinema, cinema as a means to promote cultural ties and why Indian cinema will never make great films! In conversation
What is Zinda Bhaag about?
Zinda Bhaag’s a Pakistani film I shot last year and it’s made by a first time film maker. It’s about illegal immigrants in
and a satire on the national anthem of . Pakistan Zinda bad-
Pakistan Zinda Bhaag! It’s the story of unemployed guys who see no future, no
prospects and they get a few lakhs by begging, borrowing, stealing and scraping
from wherever they can. Pakistan
They are trying to escape on a ship. These are tragic events that occur in real life. I know of incidents where people have boarded the ship hiding in drums. When they leave
Karachi, their ship is only taking circles and comes back
These people are then told they have arrived in Pakistan but are finally apprehended in court.
I’m playing an agent who helps these 4-5 youngsters escape. Dubai
After Khuda Ke Liye, this will be your second Pakistani film. Many Pakistani actors have also made their careers in
this help in promoting cultural ties between the two countries? India
Cinema is the only way I know that will promote cultural ties between India Pakistan. I did plays there and workshops with university students where I spent time with them and played cricket. The kids are very bright like our generation here. There’s great curiosity, awe and envy of
and they are fascinated by our country. India
The tables have turned completely. When we were young we heard stories of how they had imported cars in
Whatever happens between our countries is so tragic. We can’t do anything about
it. All we can do is encourage person to person contact. Few people in Pakistan have met
Pakistanis or interacted with them. If you meet one, you will really change
your opinion to some extent. India
How do you view Pakistani cinema?
I feel great cinema will emerge from
in the near future. Great cinema will also emerge from Pakistan Bangladesh and because these are countries
which have been through hell. It will be these tortured countries which will
produce great cinema, literature, poetry and paintings. I really feel that. It
will emerge in the same manner as it did from Nepal Italy
and Germany after World War
II and even from countries like France,
Poland and former .
They really suffered. Czechoslovakia
Is Indian cinema any different from its’ neighbour?
We are just too fat and contented with our selves. We’ll never make a great film in our country.
Have you faced any flak for doing Pakistani films or received any threats so far?
Not yet and hope it doesn’t happen. I won’t stop. I don’t go there to preach about
make these statements. I want to go there to meet the people, the younger