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Where Have You Hidden My New Crescent Moon?
an article by Tairah Fidous

FOR someone who is not familiar with Kashmir, the short film Where Have You Hidden My New Crescent Moon? is a story packed with pathos, but soon to be forgotten once a new day has dawned. However, for countless Kashmiris, its a story that they have to live with all their life of hoping against hope to find their missing children and often dying without ever finding them.

A scene from the film

click on photo to enlarge

The film by Kashmiri Film Maker, Iffat Fatima, is an attempt to draw attention to forced disappearances in Kashmir. The film presents one such story, of an old mother called Mughal Masi who spent the last 20 years of her life waiting for her sons return before dying in vain on October 26, 2009.

I did not have any intention to make a film on Mughal Masi. I have been working on the ongoing project Half Widows in collaboration with the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons in Kashmir ( APDP) since 2006. I had gone to see Mughal Masi on April 1, 2009, because she was sick. Four hours of conversation with her on that day is what became Where Have You Hidden My New Crescent Moon? shares Fatima.

Mughal Masi lived in Habba Kadal, Srinagar in Indian occupied Kashmir. On September 1, 1990, her only son Nazir Ahmed Teli, a teacher, disappeared and was never found again. Fatima's film is a tribute to Mughal Masi and her quest for justice. The film not only shows the agony and pain of the families who have been waiting for their loved ones to return back since last two decades, but it also shows how these families especially women protest against the human rights violations in Kashmir.

In the film, Mughal Masi does not accuse anyone. What she says is, "some hawks came and swapped my son." She uses poetic language and metaphors to protest and tell her story, not violence.


Question(s) related to this article:

Films for human rights,

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This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Where Have You Hidden My New Crescent Moon?
A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education

This report was posted on 05/01/2011.