Valley Of Saints

A refreshing movie set in Kashmir that doesn't patronize or victimize the place.

Set amidst the political conflict and environmental issues of Kashmir’s Dal Lake region, Valley Of Saints is about a young man who is a water-taxi boatman. He plans to leave Kashmir with his friend, to get away from the troubled area, but they get stuck in town due to a curfew. During this time, he develops a crush on the guest of a boathouse — a student there to study the environmental degradation of the Dal lake. Beautifully and soulfully shot, Valley Of Saints does well to keep the two issues in the backdrop, instead making it an evident reality of life in Kashmir. This works better than many other films that bring the issue(s) to the forefront, pleading you to acknowledge it. Kudos also to director Musa Syeed for mesmerizing us with his visuals of Kashmir, and specifically Dal Lake. These are not your standard postcard images, but a view of the fauna of the region, including the dirt and pollution that they live in. It is refreshing to watch a movie set in Kashmir that doesn’t patronize or victimize the place.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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About Shariq Madani

Shariq is a social, talkative, fun-loving guy who enjoys books, food and a long drive. But his real joy is in the comfortable darkness of a cinema, watching a good movie, and later spending hours discussing it.