Controversial film Punjab 1984 celebrates its global launch in Surrey (w/ photos, video)

Published: June 11, 2014


Picture 1 of 12

Diljit Dosanjh arrives at a press conference promoting the movie Punjab 1984, in Surrey on June 11, 2014. Wayne Leidenfrost/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

The highly anticipated Punjabi film, Punjab 1984 — based on events surrounding the Indian government’s brutal military attack on the state’s Golden Temple 30 years ago — celebrated its global launch in Surrey on Wednesday.

Star of the film and one of Punjab’s favourite actors, Diljit Dosanjh (of Jatt & Juliet fame), alongside fellow actor Rana Ranbir travelled from India to join film producer Manmord Singh Sidhu, also of Surrey-based White Hill Production, and local radio host Bali Deol for a question and answer with Surrey’s Sikh and Punjabi communities at Royal King Palace.

The film, which will be released worldwide at the end of the month, is timed with the 30th anniversary of the June 3, 1984 attack. But according to Sidhu, while the historical event is commonly known for the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the movie aims to tell “the other side” of the story.

“Like what happened to normal families — we are trying to tell that story through cinema,” he said.

After the Golden Temple attack, the “human rights atrocities” continued across the Indian state of Punjab for ten years, with the Indian army and police torturing men, women and children and unlawfully imprisoning others.

“Amnesty International has documented thousands and thousands of cases of young men disappeared,” Deol told the crowd. “Often people who have been disappeared and never released and their fate remains unknown, their family and friends may never find out what has really happened to them.”

Punjab 1984 tells this “human story,” following the disappearance of one young man (played by Dosanjh), and a mother’s search for her son.

“People should remember those people who have been killed by military, by government by other people,” said Sidhu, adding that these personal and heart-wrenching stories aren’t often told through the historic outlook of the ‘‘80s era Punjab. “(People) need to know what exactly happened.”

Sidhu believes the storyline will resonate with Indian immigrants in Surrey and across Canada, as many of them suffered through the unrest and fled to North America as a result.

“They want to tell their kids what exactly happened to them,” said Sidhu. “Through cinema, I think they can tell their kids and the younger generation.”

For Pary Singh Dulai, director of Surrey’s Dashmesh Darbar gurdwara who was at the Wednesday launch, the film is a way for the diaspora to stay connected with their Punjabi roots.

“It’s important to maintain, to learn about history, about your community just to maintain an identity of what you went through,” said Dulai. “Especially for our next generation to kind of maintain their identity of knowing what the community went through and what are some of the ramifications we’re still feeling.”

While Sidhu admit the storyline is “a little bit risky,” considering other Punjabi films covering similar subjects, like Sadda Haq (which revolved around the Khalistan movement in the ‘90s), faced censorship bans in India, he believes Punjab 1984 won’t face any backlash because of its human element, as opposed to an “antigovernment” statement.

Punjab 1984 releases worldwide June 27 and will be screened at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Cinemas and other Cineplex theatres across the Lower Mainland.

lcahute@theprovince.com

twitter.com/larissacahute

 

Related stories:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Indian food recipes cuisine

Learn to make Indian foods at home

Recipes for Pani Puri and Spicy Potato Patties from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla LAURA BREHAUT CANADA.COM Spices, and the way you use them,…
Continue Reading »

police-desi-shooting-gang wars

Vehicles flee after shots exchanged in Abbotsford

VANCOUVER DESI Police are investigating after a report of shots fired and vehicles fleeing the scene Thursday evening in Abbotsford. Around 7:30 p.m., Abbotsford police…
Continue Reading »

desi man charged with arson

Son-in-law charged with woman’s death in Richmond fire

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI The son-in-law of a woman who died in a fire in her Richmond home on Monday has been charged with second-degree…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Indian food recipes cuisine

Learn to make Indian foods at home

Recipes for Pani Puri and Spicy Potato Patties from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla LAURA BREHAUT CANADA.COM Spices, and the way you use them,…
Continue Reading »

police-desi-shooting-gang wars

Vehicles flee after shots exchanged in Abbotsford

VANCOUVER DESI Police are investigating after a report of shots fired and vehicles fleeing the scene Thursday evening in Abbotsford. Around 7:30 p.m., Abbotsford police…
Continue Reading »

desi man charged with arson

Son-in-law charged with woman’s death in Richmond fire

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI The son-in-law of a woman who died in a fire in her Richmond home on Monday has been charged with second-degree…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Indian recipes-Vancouver Desi

Taste India: Mix creamed spinach with crispy paneer

RANDY SHORE POSTMEDIA NEWS When I go looking for ways to use garden greens, I often turn to Indian cuisine. Saag paneer is creamed spinach…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-Surrey

Sikh community celebrates a harvest of goodness in B.C

JAGDEESH MANN VANCOUVER DESI For Vancouver publisher, Harbinder Singh Sewak, the dream was four years in the making. This week, as millions of Sikhs around…
Continue Reading »

Narendra Modi welcomed in Toronto

Photos: Modi-mania hits Canada

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Mininster Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada. RELATED STORIES: “Rock-star” Modi to get Bollywood-style welcome at Surrey Hindu…
Continue Reading »

Desi-shooting-Surrey

11 of 19 Surrey/Delta shootings between South Asian, Somalian groups

Even the wounded won’t help cops investigate drug dealers’ war KIM BOLAN POSTMEDIA NEWS METRO VANCOUVER — Two groups of young drug dealers who have…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears announce birth of first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) announced the arrival of their first child Tuesday….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

FRANCE-ENTERTAINMENT-CANNES-FILM-FESTIVAL

Bollywood divas Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor to dazzle Cannes 2015 (with photos)

IANS Mumbai – Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who is gearing up for her comeback on the silver screen, will be scorching the red carpet of…
Continue Reading »

Sonam Kapoor

Gallery: Bollywood fashionista Sonam Kapoor’s “Indian elements” at Cannes

VANCOUVER DESI As Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, our very own desi fashionista who likes fusion fashion and has often chosen classy ensembles with “Indian elements”…
Continue Reading »

Aishwarya Rai

Gallery: Aishwarya Rai’s hot and not styles at Cannes

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI When the world’s brightest stars walk the red carpet at Cannes this May, movie fans will be watching closely. Former beauty…
Continue Reading »