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

Violent Vancouver muggings

Violent street mugging in Burnaby brings light sentences to two of the perpetrators

A third suspect who has never been arrested held knife to victim’s throat KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A man convicted in a violent street mugging…
Continue Reading »

security-CBSA-Transit Police-death

Migrant group asks Transit Police not to share info with CBSA

THE CANADIAN PRESS A B.C. group is calling on Transit police to stop sharing all information about migrants with the Canada Border Services Agency. Transit…
Continue Reading »

TK

Surrey cops find body in SUV in City Centre area

VANCOUVER DESI Surrey RCMP’s serious crimes unit is investigating after a body was discovered in the City Centre area Friday morning. Police received a call…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Health Canada warns about bedbug control products after 2 Alberta children die

By John Cotter THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — The federal government is warning Canadians of what it calls the “extreme danger” of using unregistered products…
Continue Reading »

Violent Vancouver muggings

Violent street mugging in Burnaby brings light sentences to two of the perpetrators

A third suspect who has never been arrested held knife to victim’s throat KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A man convicted in a violent street mugging…
Continue Reading »

security-CBSA-Transit Police-death

Migrant group asks Transit Police not to share info with CBSA

THE CANADIAN PRESS A B.C. group is calling on Transit police to stop sharing all information about migrants with the Canada Border Services Agency. Transit…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

triplets

U.S. mom with 2 kids celebrates one-month birthdays of rare identical triplet boys (with photos)

COREY WILLIAMS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming…
Continue Reading »

File photo: An Indian Muslim bride, her hands decorated with henna, attends a mass wedding organized by a social service organization in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Groom dumped by bride-to-be for a wedding guest accuses her of drugging him before ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI A 25-year-old Indian groom who was dumped by his bride-to-be for a wedding guest after he suffered an alleged seizure has accused his…
Continue Reading »

bikram

Vancouver woman sues hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury for sexual assault

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver woman is claiming the leader of one of B.C.’s largest yoga chains repeatedly sexually assaulted and coerced her over…
Continue Reading »

murder plot-Pakistan-love triangle

U.S. man convicted of setting up fatal shooting of Pakistani wife while walking with young son

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A man was convicted Thursday of setting up the fatal shooting of his Pakistan-born wife while the couple was…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Katrina Kaif -bikini blouse

Gallery: Bollywood babes pair hot bikini blouses with sarees

VANCOUVER DESI When it comes to sinful fashion mingled with grace, elegance and beauty, no one can beat Bollywood actresses and their style sense. Check…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood film review

Dum Laga Ke Haisha: So real and heart-warming, it smells like life

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”; Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pedneker; Written and Directed by Sharat Katariya; Rating: ****(4 stars) It’s very…
Continue Reading »

Katti Batti

Bollywood actors Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan are having fun on the sets of Katti Batti

IANS Mumbai – Actor Imran Khan is having a “positive experience” filming “Katti Batti”, thanks to his “wonderful co-star” Kangana Ranaut and “great director” Nikhil…
Continue Reading »