"Fragments of a love story" is the research outcome of a search for an appropriate cinematic form to interpret and represent complex, transgressive and intimate individual histories found in the interstices and reversals of the cross-cultural meta-narratives of British-Indian colonisation, migrations and diasporas in the 20th century.
The film uses a personal and occasionally poetic voice-over, a subjective interrogation of personal archive and public records, fragmented readings from historical memoirs, and mixed media (8mm film, HD video, photographs and documents) in its narrative construction of a personal research journey.
These devices reflexively highlight the unreliability, instability and highly subjective nature of the interpretation and representation of historical records.
The participant's voices are filtered through the scrutiny of the filmmaker's evaluating voice-over. The act of interpretation and representation gathers significance from the reverbations that carry across generations of migrations/ migrants and their constructed and evolving identities.
Influenced by the personal, reflexive film of Agnes Varda (e.g.Ulysse) the film moves away from the radical deconstructing post-colonial gaze of a filmmaker such as Trinh T. Minh-ha. Instead, the film proposes a gentler, self-conscious, reflexive construction that personalises and takes ownership of colonial history. The authority of the narrative is not located at either end of the geographical spectrum of its story, neither in Scotland nor in india. instead, the narrator's voice emerges from beyond geography, from the place of a place-less migrant with diverse geographical histories and cross-geographical agendas of iterest. thihs is reflected in the context of the film's recent screenings in cross-border exhibitions and festivals with a focus on migrations, both in the UK and in Pakistan.
Bilgrami, S. (2011). Documentary Film: 'Fragments Of A Love Story'