Indian film “Majaz: A Life in Poetry” about the Urdu poet Majaz Lakhnawi has been screened at the Cannes Marche du Film 2023. Directed by Huma Khalil, the founder of the Rekhta Foundation, the film is the first in a series that will use the audiovisual medium to tell stories about poets and writers who contributed to the growth of the Urdu language. The two-hour film premiered at London’s Nehru Centre on May 11 and was completed in April this year. The film sees the poet’s life through the eyes of a research scholar and features Ghazal singer Amrish Mishra in his first acting role playing Majaz.
Cannes, May 20 (PTI) – A new film on the life and times of Urdu poet Majaz Lakhnawi, titled “Majaz: A Life in Poetry,” was screened at the Cannes Marche du Film 2023. This film, written and directed by Huma Khalil, is one of the Indian entries at the festival. Khalil is the founder of the Rekhta Foundation, which promotes Urdu through its website and annual festival of letters. Her plan is to use the audiovisual medium to tell stories about poets and writers who contributed to the growth of the language.
The two-hour film is the first in the series that Khalil intends to make. “Majaz: A Life in Poetry” premiered at London’s Nehru Centre on May 11 as part of the UK Asian Film Festival. The film features Ghazal singer Amrish Mishra in his first acting assignment as he plays the role of Majaz.
“What drew me to Majaz is the fact that he was the first Urdu poet to speak of women as equals,” said Khalil. “He was a romantic poet and also a revolutionary one in terms of how he treated gender.” In his radical, inclusivist poetry, Majaz encouraged women of his community to give up the purdah and assert their right to be free. In a famous couplet, Majaz exhorted women to turn their ‘aanchal’ (veil) into a ‘parcham’ (flag) of revolt.
“Mishra is perfect for the role,” said Khalil. “Not only is his diction unerring, he also recites Majaz’s poems in his own voice.” The film sees the poet’s life through the eyes of a research scholar.
It is a coincidence that “Majaz: A Life in Poetry” is ready for public viewing in the tenth year since the launch of Rekhta Foundation. Khalil said, “We started filming in 2023 and completed the film in April this year.”
The film is a tribute to Majaz Lakhnawi, who was a pioneer of modern Urdu poetry. He was born in 1911 in Uttar Pradesh and passed away in 1955. He was an important figure in the Progressive Writers’ Movement and was associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association.
The film highlights the struggles and achievements of Majaz, who was a poet, journalist, and film lyricist. He was also known for his love for alcohol, which led to his untimely death.
“Majaz: A Life in Poetry” is a must-watch for poetry lovers and those interested in the history of Urdu literature. It is a powerful tribute to the life and work of Majaz Lakhnawi, who was a trailblazer in his time.