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Sapna Bhavnani's 'Sindhustan' released on OTT platforms

Sapna Bhavnani's directorial debut film 'Sindhustan' releases on OTT platforms

Published: Tuesday,May 12, 2020 09:37 AM GMT-06:00
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Celebrity stylist Sapna Moti Bhavnanis directorial debut film, "Sindhustan", which has travelled to 21 international and Indian film festivals, got a worldwide digital release with English subtitles on May 12.

The feature documentary, which Bhavnani has also produced under her film production banner, Akbar Pains, had its online premiere on Amazon Prime in North America and on MovieSaints across the rest of the world on May 12.

"Sindhustan" is an exploration of the Sindhi community's migration to India, narrated through a series of extensively designed body tattoos that are illustrated on Bhavnani's body.

Through the documentary, Bhavnani attempts to also dwell into her roots and the history of the Sindhi community, which migrated in large numbers to India from Sindh during the India-Pakistan partition. The title "Sindhustan" also refers to the River Sindh.

"Sindhustan" was inspired by an interesting conversation that occurred between Bhavnani and her maternal grandmother many years ago. Bhavnani was visiting India after staying in the US for 14 years. During this time, she was considerably inked; she was desperately trying to hide her inked body. Her grandmother who herself spotted tattoos remarked: "Sapna, you are so old fashioned".

Bhavnani was taken further aback when her grandmother said, "You know when we first came as a human race, we didn't have countries or governments, we lived in extended families and we all had our markings. We all looked like you. I'm happy to see to you are going back to our roots, your roots."

Bhavnani was surprised by this statement made by her grandmother as till then she believed the tattoos was her way of rebelling against the Indian culture.

She then set out to chronicle the Sindh community's history and thus "Sindhustan" was born. The documentary includes several stories from India and Sindh. It also includes Bhavnani illustrating the Sindh community's journey through the tattoos inked on her legs, which traces the history of the Sindh community. The tattoos on her legs are designed using the art forms Ajrak and Madhubani which originate from Sindh and India respectively.

"I am so excited to have the worldwide digital and DVD release of 'Sindhustan' on May 12, the same day we won the award for Best Feature Documentary at our World Premiere at NYIFF (New York Indian Film Festival). 'Sindhustan' is not just a film, it is a movement. It is home for many Sindhi's like me who are clueless of our roots," said Bhavnani.

"It is home for many refugees that are trying to find their bearings. It is home for millions who lost their homes during partition. More than anything, to me 'Sindhustan' is hope that one day I will be able to cross the border and touch the soil of my ancestors. I wait with love," she added.

Anupama Bose, India Head of MovieSaints is happy that "Sindhustan" has found a place in their catalogue because of its unique form -- where "the narratives of partition, displacement, immigration and irreversible loss are told through beautiful tattoo and body art - giving it a unique and extremely contemporary spin".

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Sapna Bhavani

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