Vichora

A historical documentary drama that recounts how Sikh, Muslim and Hindu families survived the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Children at the time, the film includes eye witness account interviews, as well as re-enactments, as they share their individual stories of how they lived through the partition.

  • GurJeevaaan Singh Balrose
    Director
  • GurJeevaan Singh Balrose
    Producer
  • Spencer Lam
    Co-Producer
  • Andrea Lee
    Editor
  • Angel Teo
    Cinematographer
  • Daniel Yang
    Location Sound
  • Josephine Lidwina Winardi & Celine Ker
    Audio Mixers
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student, Short
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Singapore
  • Country of Filming:
    India
  • Language:
    English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • National Youth Film Awards (NYFA)
    Singapore
    Singapore
    July 25, 2020
    Best Original Music
Director - GurJeevaaan Singh Balrose
Director Statement

My mother was born in Punjab, India. Three months later my grandparents brought my mother to Singapore, partially due to the events in 1947. Over the past several years, I have been constantly asking my grandmother to share with me details of what transpired at that time. However, she has always refused to share any stories as she becomes too emotional thinking about her experience.

I visited my relatives in India who were born after the events of 1947 and they find it difficult to share as well, and with my weak understanding of Punjabi, I also found it difficult to speak to my elders on the subject. Similarly in Singapore I reached out to a number of Sikhs but they didn’t want to share either, so I traveled to India to search for more interview subjects. By embarking on this journey as a filmmaker I hoped to learn more about India's recent history as well as to question any presumptions I may have held by interviewing subjects from the various religious groups affected by the events of 1947.

In making this film I felt that if I didn't tell the story now, I never would, as those who lived through the events were now old and while many had stayed within their original borders, others had fled to Asia, Canada, the UK and America. Therefore, my main intention in making this film was to help spread awareness of the events of 1947 among young Sikhs in Singapore and elsewhere in order to foster more understanding between Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs.

'Vichora' was filmed entirely on location in India and includes Hindu, Muslim and Sikh perspectives on the events of 1947. Subjects share their personal stories of how their families and their property were affected when news broke out that the British were leaving India. The film also makes use of carefully researched re-enactments that complement the interviews in order to create an expository yet reflexive documentary film that both informs but also invites the audience to question their own assumptions on the events surrounding the Partition of India.