Preview by Manish Gajjar, Bollywood Specialist
Inspired by a novel called A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife, Escape From Taliban is the true story of Sushmita Banerjee's horrific experience in Afghanistan and her daring escape from the Taliban in 1995.
The film portrays the life of a woman who triumphs against all odds for justice.
Janbaz and Sushmita
Escape from Taliban opens on a typical Bengali girl, Sushmita (Manisha Koirala) who forsakes her religion and her family for Janbaz Khan, the love of her life. He is a tall, dark, handsome and intelligent young man from Afghanistan.
She leaves her life-long companions in Kolkata to be with her loved one in the remote village of Sharan, near Ghazni.
Manisha and Nawab Khan
To her horror she discovers on her arrival that her husband already has a wife. Soon she is subjected to the harsh inhumane Afghan lifestyle in her in-laws residence and learns a new meaning of womanhood, where woman are born for the pleasure of men and to bear their children. She is not supposed to have a mind nor an identity of her own.
Sushmita and Janbaz
Moreover, with the rise of fundamentalism, the Taliban make her life more horrendous. It is at this point that Sushmita's individuality comes to the fore.
She starts protesting at the treatment being meted out to her day after day, night after night. All this angers the Taliban so much that a death sentence is issued against her.
Sushmita Escapes from Taliban
When this happens, her real fight begins. After three years of torture and two failed escape attempts, she makes her way out of the clutches of the Taliban to freedom on 7 August 1995. Ironically, it is the Afghani women who help her in her escape to freedom.
National award winner, Bengali film maker, Ujjal Chattopadhayaya directs this autobiographical account. Locations of Jaisalmer, Hydrabad, Mumbai and Ladakh were chosen for this film. The latter depicted the rugged terrain of Afghanistan with great accuracy where most of the outdoor shooting was carried out.
Sushmita faces the harsh reality
Escape From Taliban also consists of an international star cast. Includes actress Manisha Koirala who is the Cine Actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the Govt. of Nepal and India in UNICEF.
Also includes actor Nawab Khan from Kandahar, Afghanistan and actress Feroze from Iran.
This film will be made in English and dubbed in Hindi so as to attract a much wider international audience upon its release towards the end of this year.