Political Film Society - Black Friday

PFS Film Review
Black Friday


Beginning and ending with a quote from Gandhi that the world will become blind following the “eye for an eye” maxim, Black Friday focuses on the terrorist bombing of landmark buildings in Bombay on March 12, 1993, in which some 300 died and about 2,000 were injured. Proceeding as a docudrama, the explosions on that date were in retaliation for communal violence in Bombay against Muslims during December 1992 and January 1993 that killed approximately 1,500 persons. Featured are some of the 129 plotters, who were financed by sources in Dubai and trained in the mountains of Pakistan, and the Indian police that have convicted 100 Indian Muslims. Outrage over the anti-Muslim violence, which Indian police did almost nothing to stop, fueled a desire of those who lost their businesses and jobs in the violence to retaliate so that Hindi nationalist extremists would henceforward think twice before goading Hindus into more communal violence. Careful police work by Inspector Rakesh Maria (played by Kay Kay Menon) of the Indian government receives praise during the film. The chief villain, Tiger Memon (played by Pavan Malhotra), appears much less on camera. In one important dialog, the police inspector eloquently condemns using religion to support violence, both Hindi and Muslim. At the same time, the authorities use torture to extract confessions without the slightest sign of squeamishness. Based on the 2002 book by S. Hussain Zaidi and directed by Anurag Kashyap, the Political Film Society has nominated Black Friday as best film exposé of 2007 and best film raising consciousness of the need to resolve conflicts peacefully. MH

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