Film Screening 2013

  1. The Lamp in the Niche (Director: Girish Karnad)
  3. The Heritage of Amir Khusrau (Director: Yousuf Saeed)

16th & 17th February, 2013
Casurina, India Habitat Centre
The Lamp in the Niche
(Director: Girish Karnad)

The Lamp in the Niche is a two-part documentary on Sufism and the Bhakti movement i India. It traces the origins and development of Sufism and its intimate and intricate relationship with and influence on Bhakti. Sufism came to India through the Northwest corner, soon after its emergence in Arabia in the 7th century. From the very beginning, it was a radical movement which rejected all mediation between man and God by other agencies, such as the priesthood, rituals or places of worship. God was directly accessible to every human being, regardless of sex, class, caste or religion. You only had to surrender yourself totally to His mercy and His grace would descend on you. But you needed to prepare yourself to receive Him. The Sufi pir selected a village or town to settle in, and then for the rest of his life, catered to the spiritual, social and emotional needs of the local population. This often made him a venerated and influential figure in the secular society, more powerful than the unstable mediaeval ruler, who both feared him and sought his support.
The Heritage of Amir Khusrau
(Director: Yousuf Saeed)

This comprehensive documentary film, The Heritage of Amir Khusrau in production for the past decade, explores the poetic and musical heritage of India's 14th century Sufi poet-composer Amir Khusrau Dehlavi. It looks at how the legend of Amir Khusrau evolved over centuries not only through his Persian poetry that is known mostly to scholars and historians, but also through his Hindvi songs, couplets and music compositions that have been kept alive and preserved by musicians and others in north India. The film uses the voices of several well-known musicians, scholars and art practitioners from India as well as Pakistan.