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Zero Bridge

Mohamad Imran Tapa , Taniya Khan , Tariq Tapa    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 26.95
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Product Description

Product Description

A truly independent film of integrity and offhand grace, Zero Bridge tells the deeply affecting tale of a student and small-time criminal in Kashmir who develops a crush on an older, college educated woman. Dilawar (Mohamad Imran Tapa) is a rebellious seventeen-year-old Kashmiri boy who lives on the outskirts of Srinagar city with his strict uncle. Desperate to leave town, he looks to raise money any way he can, from doing his classmates’ homework to picking pockets in the city’s markets. While on an errand, he meets Bani (Taniya Khan), a bright, beautiful woman who had recently finished her studies in America. As their friendship grows, Dilawar is desperate to hide his crimes, as well as his growing affection for her. Once the truth comes out, it causes havoc in their relationship, and threatens both of their futures. Tariq Tapa’s first feature is a small movie with a big heart, investigating issues of class and the mysteries of love with an equal measure of craft and compassion.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Dreams Big Heart, Big Obstacles July 22 2012
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I enjoyed this low-budget foreign title for a number of reasons. One, it offered me a fairly candid look at life inside an Indian village in Kashmir as seen through the eyes of a young teen named Dilawar. He and his abusive uncle are members of one of the lower casts who are forced to eke out a menial existence by any which means: scrounging, stealing, collecting scrap metal, etc. Two, the young man has a very compelling dream to become someone important in the community. In order for this aspiration to happen, he needs money in a hurry. He sets up an elaborate scheme to do homework for his fellow students for a fee a well as pick the pockets of the wealthy strangers coming through town. Everything would remain as is but for the fact that big changes are on the way in his life. His life of petty crime is heading for a crisis only because it could threaten to destroy the dream that has become his entire life. Three, the filmmaker introduces this game changer in the form of a rather innocent encounter: Dilawar falls head over heels for a well-educated young girl from a higher class who has just returned from America. As the friendship grows, so does the tension that goes with his growing realization that she will eventually discover his tainted lifestyle. Four, as the truth gradually comes out and the hope of a better life, a very real fear takes over Dilawar's young life. That bridge out of town no longer looks like his route to the promise of a better life beyond the drudgery and cruelty of one of India's five-hundred-thousand villages. On a technical level, this film provides decent acting and a solid plot with lots of rising tension and foreshadowing.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best actors are not actors. Aug. 25 2012
By G. Teslovich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Filmed mostly in the streets of Srinagar, Kashmir showing the daily lives of a people living in an undercurrent of tension from the persistent religious conflicts between Islam and Hinduism and to a lesser extent Buddhism and other religious groups. A small crew filming without the use of professional or even amateur actors. Actors recruited with no previous experience who, nevertheless, produced a most believable and naturalistic drama of love and survival. The survival tactics seemed petty compared to western standards, yet you felt their necessity of fighting for the smallest advantage; for small lies and for pennies.

My minor criticisms are in portrayals that seemed a little too unlikely such as a Kashmir woman working as a clerk, yet has a US educated physics background.
The other area that seemed lacking was a greater, more in depth, understanding of our characters, the city, the region, the nature of the religious discord, the political entanglements from Pakistan, India and China in that region. But perhaps I'm asking too much for a very budget restricted (although you couldn't tell) production.

Besides the acting the script was engaging with it's mounting conflict, uncertainty, tension and resolution.
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