Acclaimed Bollywood director Shantanu Rai is eager to begin shooting his magnum opus, Zoon, a film on the 16th century Kashmiri queen, poet and musician, Habba Khatoon. Joya, fresh from film school, joins the production team to work alongside young Kashmiri historian Rashid.
The filming progresses well; the romantic landscape unfolding in picture-postcard vistas forms an irresistible backdrop for the film—as well as for Joya and Rashid to fall in love. But this is Kashmir at the onset of a crippling insurgency. A shocking incident of terrorism halts the shoot and lives descend into interlocking spirals of loss and betrayal. Ten years on, Joya returns to Kashmir to complete Zoon and reach out to a lost love. She struggles in a strife-torn Valley, marred by curfews and barricades, despair and anger, until she finally discards Bollywood’s rose-tinted lenses in a quest to face the truth.
Will Zoon the film ever be released? A powerful mingling of real and reel, past and present, played out against the violence and volatility of Kashmir.
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