Pakhtunkhwa Times

Film on Ghaffar Khan to premiere in New York next month

Posted in 1 by ppfcanada on April 7, 2009

NEW YORK: A documentary film on the life and mission of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, leader of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement who opposed the British rule and partition of India, is set to premiere in New York on November 8.

The Khudai Khidmatgar was founded on a belief in the power of Hindu leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s notion of Satyagraha, a form of active non-violence.

Titled “The Frontier Gandhi: Badshah Khan, a Torch for Peace,” it is the work of filmmaker and writer T.C. McLuhan, daughter of the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, who spent 21 years to bring the story to the screen.

The film will be screened at the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival in a local theatre.

The Los Angeles Times says that filmmaker McLuhan, a restless, determined woman, made numerous trips to Afghanistan and other places where the Badshah Khan story unfolded, even as American bombs fell in Taliban-held Afghanistan after 9/11 and through the dangerous times that followed. She shot the film in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier Province, giving this story of filmmaking persistence a geopolitical dimension not many can match, the paper said in a preview.

Ms McLuhan said that she made six trips over the Khyber Pass. She dug into archives Afghan film officials sheltered from the Taliban, according to The Times. She managed impossibly smooth tracking shots on rutted streets using a makeshift dolly her Indian cinematographer built with skateboard wheels. A warlord became her guide and appears with her in production stills, standing in a rugged Afghan gully. She had her equipment thrown into the street by police. And she kept going back, using her Canadian citizenship and a widening network of connections to make her account of Ghaffar Khan.

For McLuhan, 62, the finished film completes a journey that started in September 1987 in Berkeley, when an acquaintance gave her “Nonviolent Soldier of Islam,” a book by the late Eknath Easwaran, who knew Ghaffar Khan, according to the paper.

Associated Press Of Pakistan (APP)

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