I got the chance to watch the film “Chitti Hatia” or White Shops by Sharad Sharma, as it was being screened today at the Audio Visual Department, organized by Department of Visual Studies.
The film was simply an effort of Bitto Shah to find the ancestral pre-partition home of his family in the area of Chitti Hatia, in Rawalpindi. The film can at best be described as the emotional search of a man. As from the point of view of story, it doesn’t contribute anything concrete, or anything new that people haven’t heard or seen before. At best, rather than being called a film it should have been called a page from some one’s diary.
The techniques of the film are nothing unique. The film has simply been shot at a handycam. And it should be acknowledged that they used every mean that they had with them to tell of their experience.
The film in itself has nothing new to offer, except maybe the emotions of a man determined to fulfill his fathers last wish, and the desperate search of that house in a country which has changed drastically since 1947. It gives an insight about how an artifical partition destroyed the homes and families of so many people.. yet nothing new.
I think the only powerful thing about the movie is the raw emotions that reaches out of the screen to touch you and make you realize that the pain of the partition has been felt by both sides for a much more longer time than we like to acknowledge.
Or maybe it is just about finding your roots. I guess that is the most important thing in the end.. finding out where are you coming from and wher are you going.. And it is a search that we are all a part of!