Saturday, 21 April 2012

Martyrs- New Sikh Documentary

Written by Daljit Singh

MARTYRS is the first international film on Sikh history. Screenings are happening now at various Gurdwaras in New York City and it has been very well received by audiences. This 85 minute docu-featuure depicts a brief introduction to Sikh history and all the Ten Gurus ( Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji) and then the film picks up from the mid- seventeenth century when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb led a reign of terror and mass conversions to the Islamic faith.

This era witnessed the supreme sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji followed by innumerable sacrifices made by the Sikhs along with the formation of the Khalsa Panth. This film beautifully presents how Sikhs showed bravery and indomitable courage in the face of tyranny. The film connects the past to the present that how the Sikh faith stood against all odds and emerged as a great winner.

Director Jagmeet Singh Samundri (Rise of the Khalsa) tackles this subject as the Jack of all trades he is, keeping the Sikh code of conduct (Rehat Maryada) clearly in mind. The screenplay of the film is so engrossing that it never lets you down. The work of computer graphics and 3D animation is par excellence and matches any international production. The sound design of the film is so brilliantly done that it keeps you enthralled with both sound and image which complement each other very nicely.

This film took considerable time and effort over three years of dedication and hard work. Jagmeet Singh Samundri, who is both Producer and Director demonstrates full mastery of the subjects with his abilities to handle all the respective departments of film-making. The screenplay of the film is quite engrossing and never lets anyone down. The visuals and the soundtrack complement each other. This film shows great commitment of the whole dedicated team of filmmakers.

The Sikh Gurus and the Sikhs portrayed with and after them are the biggest examples of martyrs. They fought against Mughal tyranny and oppression while upholding the fundamental principles (fraternity, tolerance and the belief in the Universal One (Ik Onkar) of the Sikh faith. Their lives were taken during protesting non-violently as well as on battlefields. Sikhs were recognized for their valor, bravery and sacrifice during many wars and for their righteousness and steadfastness in holding their Sikh beliefs and system of practice.

The Sikh faith is the youngest faith in the world and the fifth largest world religion. The founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached equality, universality and the path to divinity. The faith of the followers of this unique religion is rooted in the wisdom and knowledge enshrined in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (The Eternal Guru.)

The film is also about the culture, traditions and ceremonies that structure the lives of the Sikhs, along with the sacrifices, heroes and legends that have enriched the distinguished and vibrant history which is depicted in Martyrs. It chronicles the zealous, effervescent and never-say-die spirit that exemplifies the virtues of a typical Sikh; it also reveals the genteel humility that so paradoxically exists alongside the righteous aggression in the Sikh character and virtue.
The documentary was shot at historical places such as Anandpur Sahib, Jalandhar and Ludhiana in India.We should come forward and support this effort so that more and more such quality films can be made. The total length of film is 85 minutes. This film will be further dubbed in various foreign languages as well.

I had the privilege watching the documentary at a Premiere in Mumbai with the Producer/ Director. I was completely absorbed and it gave me a true insight into the rich historical perspective of Sikh history, its sacrifices and the basic principles and philosophy of practice. Now there will be an opportunity for the community to see this documentary film and appreciate the true value and beauty of the Sikh faith as Jagmeet Singh Samundri has portrayed it.

This film is both truly educational and engaging. It can serve as an inspiration for young Sikhs in society to avoid drifting away from their Sikhi.

For more information about the film in USA call +1 347 893 7091.
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