Valley of Saints
While the elderly uncle who raised him attends a wedding, Dal Lake boatman Gulzar plans to ditch the area’s strife and poor economic conditions to start anew. Before he and best friend Afzal can leave Kashmir, however, the latest clash between protesters and the military results in a weeklong curfew. The two young men can do little but kill time and tend to a similarly stranded relative’s houseboat guest, Asifa, a pretty, Kashmiri-American woman scientist researching the lake’s pollution problems. When her findings reveal harmful pollutants, Gulzar realizes that the ecology of the lake and an entire way of life face an alarming threat, and everything in his own life begins to take on a new hue. An enlightening feature debut from Musa Syeed, VALLEY OF SAINTS features naturalistic performances and lush cinematography that heightens the region’s visual splendor. Intricately weaving contemporary issues with traditional culture and ancient myths, it is a vibrant, lyrical film about finding one’s path home in a changing world. Winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance 2012.
India | USA, 2012, 82 min, In English & Kashmiri with English subtitles, Unrated, Directed by Musa Syeed,
“A lyrical, beautiful, and satisfying journey of self-discovery.”
– Anne Thompson, INDIEWIRE