All armed conflict, at the end of the day, is futile: Border director JP Dutta

Filmmaker JP Dutta talks about Paltan and why war stories matter

Written by Shivangi Vaswani | Published: September 6, 2018 4:56:21 am

All armed conflict, at the end of the day, is futile: Border director JP Dutta JP Dutta

Filmmaker JP Dutta talks about Paltan and why war stories matter

When did you get the idea of making the film, Paltan, based on the 1967 Nathu La military clashes ?

A couple of years ago, I got some information from my friends in the army about the clashes in 1967. Apparently
not many people know about it. I met several officers, their families and collected information from as many sources as I could.

Why are war movies so important to you?

My younger brother was an army pilot. I lost him in a plane crash in 1987. That’s how the journey started. He used to tell me about the Battle of Longewala (on which the 1997-movie Border is based). He was a part of the battle.
All armed conflict, at the end of the day, is futile. As a filmmaker, I try to convey this. The aggressors should be told that they cannot do this.

What is a filmmaker’s role in nation building?

All filmmakers are a product of their experiences. Everybody has different experiences, which is why their choices are different. As a filmmaker, I feel responsible for showing the real side of the armed forces and battles they fight.

How crucial is it to tell stories about soldiers?

I have been told that, after watching Border, many young boys joined the army. That’s a great achievement for the
film. It’s an achievement for the soldiers who fought that battle. Politics affects soldiers, too. But, on the battlefield, their motto is very simple: Do or die. They only live for the army and for their families back home.

How do you think the younger generation will respond to Paltan?

Positively, I hope. I have great hopes from the new generation. They have a lot of clarity and are very practical. I believe that we are underestimating them.

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