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Father, Son and Holy War: Hero Pharmacy

Father, Son and Holy War: Hero Pharmacy

In a politically polarized world, universal ideals are rare. In India, as elsewhere, the vacuum is filled by religious zeal. Minorities are made scapegoats of every calamity as nations subdivide into religious and ethnic zones, each seemingly eager to annihilate the other or extinguish itself on the altar of martyrdom. FATHER, SON AND HOLY WAR explores in two parts the possibility that the psychology of violence against “the other” may lie in male insecurity, itself an inevitable product of the very construction of “manhood.” Part 2: HERO PHARMACY examines “manhood” in the context of religious strife. The Hindu majority has been raised on stories of marauding Muslim invaders who raped their women, destroyed their temples, and forced religious conversions. Today, some Hindus demand revenge for crimes committed centuries ago. They reject non-violence as impotence and set out to be “real men.” Meanwhile the Muslim minority – despite fears of genocide, will not take things lying down. They too are driven by the imperative to be “real men.” The result is carnage. Is violence inherent in the human condition? The film invokes pre-patriarchy, not to determine the past, but to imagine the future.

“Rampant machismo is never a pretty sight, and this two-part video contains a lot of excruciating imagery and some brutal truths: these are not pretty pictures… For showing to courses on current Indian politics, on religion and ethnicity, on women’s issues, the sociology of violence, or popular culture, FATHER, SON AND HOLY WAR is powerful stuff, but the faint of heart should be forewarned of its harrowing content.” Gail Minault, Journal of Asian Studies “Anand Patwardhan’s impressive, passionate documentary explores in great detail the roots of sectarian violence in India today. A natural for cutting-edge TV docu slots, the film, which is extremely well researched and assembled, should also be widely seen at upcoming fests.” David Stratton, Variety


Main credits

Patwardhan, Anand (film director)
Patwardhan, Anand (film producer)
Patwardhan, Anand (photographer)
Patwardhan, Anand (editor of moving image work)
Patwardhan, Anand (narrator)
Patwardhan, Anand (distributor)

Other credits

Camera, Anand Patwardhan; music, Vinay Mahajan [and 3 others].

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Gender and Sexuality


India, men, violence, manhood, maschismo, ethnic minorities, Muslim, Hindu; "Father, Son and Holy War: Hero Pharmacy (Part 1)"; Anand Patwardhan

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