Valley of Saints
Valley of Saints
Valley of Saints

Valley of Saints

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We can’t always get back what is lost, but we can nurture what remains.

Widely considered to be the crown jewel of Kashmir, Dal Lake is a sprawling aquatic community where erupting political violence often distracts from the natural beauty. Gulzar, a young, working-class boatman, plans to skip town with his best friend in search of a better life, but a weeklong military curfew derails their departure. Forced to wait it out, Gulzar takes a job assisting a pretty scientist named Asifa. As they navigate the floating landscape, collecting water samples for an environmental study, an unlikely relationship blossoms between the two. When Asifa's research reveals harmful pollutants, Gulzar realizes that the ecology of the lake and an entire way of life face an alarming threat, and everything in his own life begins to take on a new hue.

Lush cinematography heightens the region’s visual splendor in this enlightening feature. Intricately weaving contemporary issues with traditional culture and ancient myths, Valley of Saints is a vibrant, lyrical film about finding one's path home in a changing world.

Cultural Significance

When looking at Kashmir, I was struck by how the resilience of the people is reflected in the resilience of the environment. Even in the face of a dangerous conflict, people find ways to embrace life, love, and hope. The environment, too, is still beautiful, and even though it’s not what it used to be, there is something there to be cherished and preserved. Ultimately, the film is optimistic about the environment--and about the nature of life in conflict--through hopeful honesty: we can’t always get back what is lost, but we can nurture what remains. —Musa Syeed

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Stay for the Discussion: Musa Syeed Shares Valley of Saints with Audiences in BiH

Posted Oct 1, 2013, by Musa Syeed, Director, Valley of Saints posted in Articles

Stay for the Discussion: Musa Syeed Shares Valley of Saints with Audiences in BiH

Musa Syeed, the director of Valley of Saints, documents his experience with FILM FORWARD in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he screened his film and engaged in dialogue with... Read More

Peace Amid Conflict: Valley of Saints Finds a Similar Struggle In Bosnia

Posted Sep 23, 2013, by Musa Syeed, director, Valley of Saints posted in Articles

Peace Amid Conflict: Valley of Saints Finds a Similar Struggle In Bosnia

Musa Syeed, the director of Valley of Saints, documents his experience with FILM FORWARD in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he screened his film and engaged in dialogue with... Read More

Weave: Director Musa Syeed of Valley of Saints in Puerto Rico

Posted Jun 20, 2013, by Musa Syeed, Director, Valley of Saints posted in Articles

Weave: Director Musa Syeed of Valley of Saints in Puerto Rico

On my first morning in Puerto Rico, kites filled the air over El Morro, one of the old Spanish fortresses on the coast. I stepped onto the field, filled with summer camp kids... Read More

VIDEO: Valley of Saints Director Musa Syeed in Puerto Rico

Posted Jun 20, 2013, by Royale Ziegler, Social Media Manager posted in Articles

VIDEO: Valley of Saints Director Musa Syeed in Puerto Rico

Valley of Saints writer/director Musa Syeed joins FILM FORWARD for its third year bringing films, panels, and cultural dialogue to Puerto Rico. In this interview, Musa... Read More

Dialogue Between Past and Present: Director Musa Syeed on Valley of Saints in Puerto Rico

Posted Jun 18, 2013, by Musa Syeed, Director, Valley of Saints posted in Articles

Dialogue Between Past and Present: Director Musa Syeed on Valley of Saints in Puerto Rico

In 1521, the conquistador Ponce de León built his colonial residence in San Juan, naming it Casa Blanca. Today, almost 500 years later, the house is a museum where I had the... Read More

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