(aka '10 Meditations on Partition')
|A brilliantly executed and intense drama based around the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the transfer of power from British to Indian hands. Based on Saadat Hussan Manto's famous short story about partition, McMullen's film focuses on the historical footnote that inmates of lunatic asylums were also transferred - Muslims to asylums in Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India. The film is set in both an asylum on the border and the conference rooms of the rulers, and the same actors play both the rulers and the inmates of the asylum, with events in the asylum mirroring the actions of the ruling order. The film's structure is complemented by superb cinematography and set design and the cast list reads like a who's who of Indian acting talent.|
Theatrical Release: 1987
DVD Review: Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 5.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
commentary from director Ken McMullen and writer Tariq Ali
Second Run's Region free PAL DVD presentation of McMullen's film is progressive, full frame and on a dual-layered disc. The image is fairly clean and has decent detail - , in fact, I don't have any complaints about the image or the English track audio which seems fairly consistent to my ears although a slight background humming/hiss was infrequently apparent. It is supported with optional French only subtitles (no English).
Supplements are extensive with a relaxed audio commentary from director Ken McMullen and writer Tariq Ali. It has plenty of gaps and the audio is not perfect (sounds just a bit better than a phone) and some rather mundane production information is imparted. There are also three interviews - with co-writer Tariq Ali (15:33), and actors Roshan Seth (12:43) and Saeed Jaffrey (8:53) as well as a conversation with production designer Paul Cheetham (5:32) that does sound like it is from a telephone with scenes of the film as a background. There is also featurette - 'A Rebellious Soul' - the Making of Partition that runs close to 20 minutes and finally a 16-page liner notes booklet which includes a short story by Saadat Hasan Manto (translated from Urdu) and a two page text conversation with McMullen, some of the film credits and photos.
McMullen's film is certainly thought provoking and was extremely interestingly made. The separation motifs of the film are multi-layered and a strong cinematic effect is created. I have both Indian and Pakistani friends and, personally, found this to be an intriguing topic. With the extra features as well this is a good DVD for your library.