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Division of Hearts
A Video by Satti Khanna & Peter Chappell
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The 1947 British subdivision of colonial India into Pakistan and the independent Indian nation caused the loss of 500,000 lives and the relocation of millions—one of the most extensive movement of peoples ever.

After centuries of coexistence, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims became victims of mutual suspicion as violence swept through the countryside. The resulting mass relocations of these groups transformed village populations overnight.

In DIVISION OF HEARTS ordinary people from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh — cartdrivers, laborers, tradespeople, farmers — tell this history and recount their own tumultuous experiences. Their memories, combined with archival news film, bear witness to the traumatic birth of two independent nations.

"The real success of this well-produced film is that the refugees' repeated 'why?' and 'what was achieved by this division of hearts?' finds a responsive echo within our own hearts when we view the communal strife in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and in India itself where Sikhs were burnt alive in the haven to which they fled at Partition." —The Sikh Messenger

"Tells the survivors' stories in graphic and realistic descriptions and visuals. Recommended." —Landers Film & Video Reviews

"Poignant... an interesting video well worth viewing by South Asian scholars and students." —W.W. Reinhardt, Choice

"Pick of the Day... An extraordinary slice of history." —Elizbeth Cowley, Daily Mail (London)


57 minutes / color
Copyright: 1987
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Anthropology, Asia, Bangladesh, Cultural Anthropology, Geography, Global Studies, History (World), Human Geography, India, Migration, Pakistan, Sociology, South Asia

Related Titles:
War and Peace: From India's leading documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan. Filmed over 3 years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the US. An epic journey of peace activism in the face of religious fanaticism, militarism and war.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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