Karbala Memoirs (Karbala Katha) – Sourav Sarangi


From a different perspective, a filmmaker from India traces his participation in Arbaeen, one of the largest pilgrimage gatherings on earth carrying a childhood memory.

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Synopsis of Karbala Memoirs (Karbala Katha)

Arbaeen is a stunning exhibition of sadness, loss, and religious ecstasy, and it is one of the world’s largest pilgrimage gatherings. Every year, millions from all over the world gather at Karbala, Iraq, to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussain, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, who was killed in a war that took place a millennium back and became a symbol of universal freedom and compassion. From a different point of view, a filmmaker from India traces the journey in the desert carrying a childhood memory.


40 minutes* | English subtitles | HD (1920×1080)
India**, Turkey**, Iraq | 2019
Director/Producer: Sourav Sarangi
Production Company: Son et Lumière, Ayat Media
*30-minute version is available for institutional use.
**Production only, not location of shooting.

Awards & Film Festivals

1. Official Selection, 2020 Mumbai International Film Festival
2. Official Selection, 2020 DMZ International Documentary Film Festival
3. Official Selection, 2021 Kolkata International Film Festival
4. Winner of the Satyajit Ray Golden Award for best documentary, 2021 South Asian Short Film Festival
5. Official Selection, 2021 MULTICULTURAL Film Festival
6. Winner of the Best Documentary Award, 2022 Bengal International Short Film Festival

Reasons for Recommendation

1. After the 911 incident, the world’s distortion of Islam has become increasingly intense. This documentary helps clarify possible misunderstandings about Islam and to bring peace and strength from it.
2. The director tells the story of early Islam in a poetic way, and viewers don’t have to be Muslims to understand the brutal history of the war and empathize with the grieving pilgrims.
3. With exquisite cinematography and music, Karbala Memoirs (Karbala Katha) makes viewers feel as if they are actually visiting Karbala and participating in the Arbaeen.

More Info

1. Times of India: Documentary on Kolkata filmmaker’s Karbala journey wins award
2. Times of India: Film festival to screen city director’s docu on Karbala
3. The Indian Express: When documentary filmmaker Sourav Sarangi found peace and harmony in Karbala

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