Autumn

After an unsuccessful attempt to cross into Pakistan to fight as a militant, young Rafiq returns home to a desolate existence with his parents. The family is mourning the loss of Rafiqʼs older brother, Tauqir, one of the tens of thousands of young men who have disappeared since the insurgency in Kashmir began in 1989. His mother remains vaguely delusional about the chances of Tauqir's eventual return as she attends rallies by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons; his father, a traffic cop, meanwhile begins to show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder from the years of violence he has witnessed. Rafiq spends much of his time sleeping or staring blankly, all emotion evacuated from his large brown eyes. When Rafiq discovers Tauqirʼs old camera with a roll of undeveloped film inside it, he is briefly emboldened by this tangible connection to his brother and the possibilities it might hold for his own future. Filmed on location in the Kashmir valley with either nonprofessional or first-time Kashmiri actors, Autumn is a powerful depiction of the loss and decay caused by twenty years of violent conflict. At the same time, it stands as a moving tribute to those who have struggled throughout to maintain their dignity and humanity.

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