New documentary explores the Parsi community
Yes, the soft-hued documentary gets known faces of the community to aid a narrative of a community that has and is leading India in art, science, business, music and theatre. From screenwriter/photographer Sooni Taraporevala, TV personality Cyrus Broacha, Farok Shoki (owner of Kyani & Co), and Sam Kerawala (set designer/director), the duo of Divya Cowasji and Shilpi Gulati produce an endearing portraiture of Parsis in just 30 minutes.
Hoo Parsi Choo
“Ever since I first moved to Mumbai in 2005, the abstract love affair I had had with the idea of being a Parsi all my life, took on a more involved, nay obsessed form. It is during our Masters at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) that Shilpi and I met, became inseparable, and decided that both our dissertations — hers on the Derawal community and mine on the Parsis, titled ‘The Parsi community and the politics of gendered exclusion: Implications for the 21st century’ — would translate well into documentary films. And that is how our partnership and foray into the world of documentary filmmaking began,” says Divya Cowasji.
In the eleventh hour
The duo had their share of adventures while making the film. Cowasji recalls, “We were shooting in the grounds of a fire temple in Mumbai when the head priest came bursting out of his chambers. He could not contain his pure joy and as he gave us bear hugs, he informed us that a Parsi lady in Surat had given birth to 11 children! For him, this was nothing short of a miracle.”
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