four episodes drama, 110 min., cinemascope, India 2010
written by Urmi Juvekar, Merle Kroeger & Onir
directed by Onir
starring: Nandita Das, Purab Kohli, Juhi Chawla, Manisha Koirala, Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bose
cinema release: April 29, 2011
National Film Award of India for BEST HINDI FEATURE FILM 2012
Filmwebsite "I AM"
I AM is about issues and dilemmas that bruise the modern Indian society. Unravelling and exploring these tribulations, the film unfolds many a tale of individuals struggling to find their identity, and uphold their dignity in a world that is callous, cold and unsympathetic.
Shot in four different cities across India, I AM is a fusion of stories where the protagonists share a common dream – a desire to regain their lives, to regain an identity which has been taken away from them.
I AM AFIA is the story of a single woman who feels her identity will be made whole through the singular feminine experience of motherhood. Unable to trust or even wait for a man, her search is defined – does motherhood necessarily require the burden of a man?
I AM MEGHA is a story of two friends – a Kashmiri Pandit woman and a Muslim woman – separated by conflict. Against the backdrop of the exodus of Hindu’s in Kashmir in early 90’s, it’s a story of loss of home and identity. If your own home rejects you, where do you go and where are you “from”?
I AM ABHIMANYU is the story of a broken man, with a proud mask. Abhimanyu is trapped by the demons of his past, a past of sexual abuse. To move forward he must first go back, into a world where his childhood was stolen from him.
I AM OMAR is a horrific tale of sexual discrimination; blackmail and prejudice is part of the torrid fabric. It reveals how the police use Article 377 (law under Indian Penal code which criminalizes homosexuality) to harass and blackmail gay men. In the current climate of media sensationalism, perhaps this story gains even more poignancy.
Characters move in and out of the stories, thus linking them in terms of content and structure. In all, I AM is about glimpses into the lives of people who often do not know what’s right and very often, do not do the right thing. There is a beauty in simple things, and a dignity in individual struggle – through its stories, I AM reflects the story of everyone.
I AM is born of true life incidents.
Using social networks, producers Onir and Sanjay Suri have co-produced the film with more than 400 individuals across 35 cities around the world, making I AM India’s one of its first and the biggest crowd sourced film.