The Pakistani film Azaadi, which explores the Kashmir conflict from Pakistan’s point of view, will be released on June 15, which marks Eid al-Fitr.
The film, directed by Imran Malik, stars Moammar Rana as Azaad, a gun-toting “mujahid” (freedom fighter), as described in the film’s trailer. Azaad has made it his mission to liberate Kashmir from India. Sonya Hussain plays the film’s female lead Zara, a British journalist of Pakistani origin who gets caught up in Azaad’s crusade. The action film has been shot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
The trailer of Azaadi, released in March, shows Zara travelling to Kashmir and getting to know about its political situation. She seeks to interview Azaad, who with his armed colleagues, are in constant conflict with, presumably, the Indian Army. The trailer contains action sequences, punch dialogue, and Indian villains.
In a recent interview with Dawn, Rana said that thanks to the buzz around the film in Pakistan, he has become his country’s version of Rambo, the Hollywood action hero played by Sylvester Stallone. Rana dedicated Azaadi to Kashmir’s “brave people”.
“I think regardless of what’s happening internationally, there are people in Kashmir who have to endure extreme adversity,” Rana told Dawn. “Our sisters are being raped, children are being brutally murdered. Why isn’t this being presented at the UN [United Nations]? Why is this not being shown? Why is India getting away with it? Every day, we get to see these heartbreaking videos of our own being killed over social media. I dedicate this film to the extremely brave people of Kashmir, for it’s about freedom from [oppression] and tyranny.”
Meanwhile, calling the film “a beautiful, human ode to Kashmir”, Hussain said that Azaadi is “wrapped with impeccable romance, high-voltage action and drama, soulful music and pretty much everything that makes for an Eid watch”.