Bring Him Back – a film on Maqbool Butt | Duration: 26 minutes
Directed by Fahad Shah | Produced by Talat Butt | Co-produced by RåFILM Sweden and JKTV Manchester.
Shahmali Begum, 84, mother of Maqbool Butt has been campaigning to get her son’s mortal remains back to Kashmir for last 34 years. Butt was a prominent leader of Kashmir’s resistance movement, demanding independence from India and Pakistan. After imprisoning him, the Indian government hanged him on 11 February 1984 in the Tihar Jail of New Delhi in India on the charges of murder. Without informing his family anything about him, his body was buried in the jail compound.
In this film, his mother is followed while she talks about his childhood, struggle and the hardships during his political career. She goes from pillar to post to seek support in her campaign and also writes a letter to a President of India. She travels to different holy shrines to pray for her campaign to bring back her sons mortal remains to Kashmir before she dies.
The film was first released in London at the University of Westminster in 2015 and later on screened at the Humboldt-University of Berlin, Lund University of Sweden, British Parliament, This is the first time that the filmmakers have released the film worldwide for public.
Fahad Shah is a journalist and editor currently based in Kashmir, who frequently writes for the Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera, The Diplomat, Dawn, Hindustan Times and is a correspondent at The Christian Science Monitor. He is also the founding editor of The Kashmir Walla magazine and the editor of the anthology Of Occupation and Resistance: Writings from Kashmir (2013). He studied journalism from Kashmir and Critical Media and Cultural Studies from SOAS, University of London.
Talat Bhat is a Sweden based Kashmiri activist, documentary filmmaker, and trade union campaigner. He has a Masters degree in Media Production and is researching the impacts of new media technologies in conflict zones. He is also a member of RåFILM, an activist film collective based in Malmö. He is currently digging up some archives as pre-production work for his upcoming documentary. Talat’s experience with racist and exploitative work culture on cruise ships in 1997 when he came to Sweden prompted him to mobilize non-EU workers in seeking their rights. Due to his work, discrimination against non-EU workers on ships was stopped, which had caused his father to lose his job despite his working on a ship for 23 years.