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  Video: Celebrities Speak
 
“A bold and heartrending film, extremely well made and deeply moving. It’s an important film as it is very relevant to our times.”
Aamir Khan. Actor
 
“Having lived through the experience I can say this film is a MUST.”
Khushwant Singh. Writer
 
“I loved Amu. It is courageous, honest, compelling. A must see film.” (full interview – below)
Mira Nair, Filmmaker
 
“Where have you been hiding?…a brave and challenging film…simply wonderful.”
Mrinal Sen. Filmmaker
[At Kolkata Premier of Amu. Priya Cinema, January 5, 2005.]
 
"I saw your film at TIFF and loved it and was profoundly affected by it. I really think it is one of the best Indian films I have seen. I didn't know Brinda was an actor - she was brilliant. I have been telling everyone that you are a filmmaker to watch out for. I hope your film gets a release and is seen by everyone."
[To Shonali at the Water premier at the IAAC Film Festival, New York. November 2005.]
Deepa Mehta. Filmmaker.
 
“An extremely significant film for India…every character richly etched…unbelievable first film…it is truly cinema.” (full interview below)
Shyam Benegal, Filmmaker, MP
 
“A brilliant powerful film. I wept and wept. Everyone should see it.”
Anurag Kashyap. Writer. Filmmaker.
 
“I loved Amu and I think anyone who watches it will react similarly. It was really touching – it made me weep. Actually I love noble films. Amu was very noble in its idea, in its thought, in its relationships and in the way it was done. I specially loved the mother daughter relationship and the way the issue of adoption was handled.
Jaya Bachchan. Actor, MP
 
“The film broke my heart by what it said, and I was filled with admiration for the way you have made it. Extremely skilfull and compassionate. I would have loved to have played the one scene of Brinda Karat's separated husband! I am absolutely serious. Ms. Karat's by the way is one of the finest performances I have seen on the Indian screen…. I am deeply moved by the truth and honesty of your work, not to say the technique; and I will consider it a privilege to work with you.” [In an email to Shonali]
Naseeruddin Shah. Actor.
 
“I really loved Amu and I think everyone should watch this film. It was very beautiful, very sensitive, very emotional. And I actually didn’t expect it was going to be such an emotional film. The actors were so natural and realistic. Konkona, Brinda were excellent. It was really very moving, very natural, very beautiful. I loved it.
Hema Malini. Actor, MP
 
”Amu is a very sensitive, very delicate film. And it grows on you like a blood pressure grows inside you. In your veins. It’s a problem which was not easy to handle and it has been so realistically handled. You feel intimately close to Amu.”
Gulzar. Poet, Lyricist, Writer, Director
 
“Amu was a very moving and special experience for me. I was all tears…It is such a beautifully crafted film – in its writing and direction – because the director has you completely hooked. You’re taking the journey emotionally with the protagonist – Kaju is someone you identify with, someone you know. And that’s brilliant filmmaking!
Vivek Oberoi. Actor.
 
“I think Amu is a very very courageous first film. I was deeply moved by the film. Kudos to Shonali for dealing with such a difficult film so sensitively.”
Aparna Sen. Filmmaker. (36 Chowringhee Lane, Mr and Mrs Iyer…)
 
“I absolutely loved Amu. It’s a brilliant film. Very sensitive and very cleverly written. It’s a bang on perspective on the topic which is what hooked me.
I also felt that even though it was so real it was such a good looking rich film. It had its track and trolley when it needed to…it was absolutely cinema.
I feel it is a relevant film in any context – whether it is about her relationship with her family, relationship with politics, relationship with reality and the relationship of a person with a place where they are trying to discover something new – is beautifully dealt with in the film.
It is also a very interesting reflection on the youth and that’s a major reason why people should see it if not simply for the love of cinema.”
Shaad Ali. Filmmaker (Saathiya, Bunty aur Bubli)
 
“I have stopped crying in films because as a director I am conscious of the film making craft. But Amu was one film which made me forget that I am a director and made me cry…I plead with everyone for the love of cinema that they must see Amu.”
Vishal Bhardwaj. Filmmaker. (Maqbool, Omkara)
 
“As a film – Amu is a revelation… It’s a film about compassion and that’s what touches me, it’s a film about finding yourself and that’s what touches me, it’s a film about discovering the roots of discontent which is what absorbs me into the film, As a first film I salute the film maker. It is ambitious, it is audacious, it is brave and I really believe that the filmmaker will go a long way into making films which is relevant to us today.”
Ketan Mehta. Filmmaker. (The Rising, Mirch Masala…)
 
“Amu struck me as an extraordinary film. I was expecting something special but what I saw on screen far exceeded my expectations. It is so rare, it really is rare to come across a film with such political commitment and heart. And when you come across it you know you’ve stepped into a world of possibilities that should exist but rarely does. It is a film with such deep political commitment and yet it’s a story wonderfully told, full of passion, compassion and humanity and one that transcends the very story that it tells.”
Ali Kazimi. Filmmaker. (Continuous Journey)
 
“It is such a powerful and a very brave film. And it deals with a subject that has been an embarrassment to the Government of India and they have never wanted a film or anything to be projected about this.
Amu focuses on the point of social justice and the necessity for social justice because that’s the only way you can have peace. Peace is not possible without justice.
It’s an exceptionally well made film and I recommend everyone see this film. It’s a first film too – now that to me is even more important because it is so accomplished. It’s a deeply felt film, very moving and whatever the director intended has been achieved.”
Shyam Benegal. Filmmaker, MP
 
“Well Amu really surprised me as a film. I was completely in it and then found myself weeping in the middle – it’s naturalism, it’s honesty. The performances from non or first time actors – who are so brilliant in their honesty…and the inter family dynamic was extraordinary. And then the story surprised me constantly unfolding into another chapter of Amu’s origins which so exquisitely in the storytelling dovetailed into drama as I knew it as a young person in Delhi.
Coincidentally, the Sikh riots was also my very first attempt at a screenplay with Sooni Taraporevala called “Tej and Deepa” – a love story which we set in the Sikh riots which we never made. And it was so brilliant to see Amu take this subject matter and enter it in a way so that it makes it today – important now. Because what was going on then is not something of the past. We live with different faces of it in our own country and everywhere else.
In your work Shonali, as the writer and the director you take us in from the intimacy of a young woman’s quest and her family – but into a much larger political flame. Which is desperately sad and desperately also inspiring because it makes you question.
And I really commend it and I recommend everyone of us to see it. Because there’s not enough truth on our screens. And it is a very troubled time we are living in. And Amu makes the riots of 1984 feel like they could be tomorrow and today. “
Mira Nair. Filmmaker
(in an interview with Shonali. New York. Nov. 2006)