Film on Tamil Muslims wins international award

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SHAFAQNA – Yaadhum , a documentary film, tracing the history and identity of the Tamil Muslim community, has won the Bronze Remi award at the 48{+t}{+h}WorldFest-Houston – the third longest running International Film Festival in North America.

“The film is a Tamil Muslim’s journey in search of his roots and identity,” says Kombai S. Anwar, the film-maker who won the award under the Cultural/Ethnic category. There were participants from 33 countries and more than 550 international film-makers attended the festival. The film was also screened at The Hindu Literary Festival.

Distorted history

Mr. Anwar said his objective was to set right the distorted history of Muslims constructed by Western historians.

“Contrary to the popular perception that Islam made advances through violent conquests, in Tamil Nadu the religion arrived with trade. The sculpture found in the Tirukurungudi temple explains the maritime trade with the Arabs,” he said.

Inspiration

Two incidents — late writer Sujatha’s argument that thousands of Vaishnavites were killed during the Muslim invasion and Anwar’s role in helping the local community preserve the Kallupalli (the mosque made of granites) — became the inspiration for the film.

“Muslims in Tamil Nadu adapted themselves to the local cultures and combined the elements of Dravidian architectures while constructing mosques,” he said.

Dravidian

architecture

Even though there are a lot of mosques built following the Dravidian architecture, the 17{+t}{+h}century mosque in Keezhakarai constructed by Seethakathi, known as Vallal Seethakathi, remains the finest example of Dravidian-Muslim architecture.

The film  covers excavations, inscriptions, old mosques built in the architectural traditions of Tamil Nadu and  Kerala, literature and interviews with well-known historians.

Source : The Hindu

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