Why we made Talvar: watch the filmmakers at a special screening
On 27 September, the producers of Talvar hosted a special screening for Catch. This was the first public screening of the film in India, after it got a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival.
Directed by Meghna Gulzar and written by Vishal Bhardwaj, the film is a gripping take on the chilling double murder of 13-year-old Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, the elderly domestic help who worked in her parents' home.
The way these murders were handled came to symbolise everything that is wrong with India's justice system. A shoddy investigation, unscrupulous media coverage and an impervious judiciary ensured that the truth would become almost impossible to ascertain.
Yet, in a bizarre twist, largely driven by media frenzy and the capricious incompetence of different investigative teams, the parents of the young girl were blamed for the murders and convicted for life.
For six years, most of the nation believed blindly in the Talwars' guilt.
Now, the film Talvar accomplishes what all great art does: it unsettles the settled; invites a rethink. Introduces doubt. Compels introspection.
Masterfully scripted, and both directed and acted with mature restraint, the film presents the evidence - such as it was - to the audience and leaves it to arrive at its own conclusion.
At the Catch screening, the audience was almost universally disturbed and moved by what they saw. Several wondered if the movie would help reopen the case.
At the end of the film, Gulzar, Bhardwaj, producer Preeti Shahani and actors Irfaan and Konkona Sen Sharma spoke to Catch editor-in-chief Shoma Chaudhury about the making of the film, what drew them to this story, their own takeaways from it, and why they stopped short of taking a stand on the apparent miscarriage of justice that underlies the film. (See video)
Read more on the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj murder:
See also the Q&A with the audience: