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The Kashmir Files: Unreported review: Vivek Agnihotri’s docu-series is a reel vs real of his own film

The Kashmir Files: Unreported taps into the good, bad and ugly sides of Kashmir

The Kashmir Files: Unreported review: Vivek Agnihotri’s docu-series is a reel vs real of his own film
  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 06.59 AM, Aug 14, 2023


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Many stories were left untold since The Kashmir Files released. Some more stories are released and the stories told are re-told as reel vs real in The Kashmir Files: Unreported. Come and relive the horrors of Kashmir in late 70s, just before the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.


When The Kashmir Files released in 2022, the movie was loved and dissed off as a conspiracy at the same time. Nonetheless, it became a wave and that was evident in how the number of screens increased, which was a rare instance for a Bollywood film.

Now, in 2023, the makers have released the docu-series The Kashmir Files: Unreported. It commences with director Vivek Agnihotri meeting some victims with his wife, Pallavi Joshi.

Himanshu Ganju is the first guest they meet. He recalls the horrifying incident that happened, with which his mother disappeared. His father, too, was shot and drowned in the Jhelum river. He was tied to the bricks.

Neerja Sadhu talks about her grandparents and how her grandpa died on her wedding day. Ever since, you know that Vivek and Pallavi are set on to tap on your human and emotional side with the documentary.

Vivek gets into the details of how and when did the idea of Free Kashmir germinate. The series explores that for the most bits.

The next guest - Shubhan Kotwal - talks about how he had to get his planned child aborted because of the conditions around him. Soon after, one gets to see the real interview that was recreated by Chinmay Mandlekar's Farooq in The Kashmir Files.

Since the scene, there’s a lot of back-and-forth, almost Vivek looking at his film through the lens of the people who saw what happened in Kashmir in the late 70s.

This documentary talks about how the Kashmiri Pandits lost their land through illegal PoK. Naturally, a lot about the country is also discussed. Sheikh Abdullah's reign and how it changed things, is remembered.

It was the time when brothers could not even take their sisters out to watch a movie. Manoj Kauti talks about the same, by mentioning how Kashmiri Pandit women would have to ignore many comments on their way to the cinema hall, that is if she can safely reach to the theatres.

Zia Ul-Haq's reign and Indira Gandhi's insurgency is tapped upon. Farooq Abdullah and his friendship with Rajiv Gandhi is also shed light upon.

The 1987 elections, which was blamed for the exodus period, is in limelight again. The mystery of Muslim United Front, a political party created right before elections, is also questioned. The Anant Nag riots, only a few days before the elections, is spoken about, rather questioned.

Majnu Kak Kaul talks about how the milkman who delivered milk to her place, raped the Indian flag and threw it aside. Seeing that, she kicked the lota he carried. He, in turn, retorted saying, "Pachtaayegi" which left her family members scarred. He then took action another day, by pushing her against a wall, running his hand over her and saying, "Bahut bakwaas karti hai tu."

Operation Topac comes to limelight. This, in detail, was about 16-25 year olds going missing from Kashmir, one-after- another, only to return as terrorists. These young Kashmiri Muslim boys were brainwashed to do or die.

Dr. Surinder Kaur recalls how an 18-year-old boy tried to show off that he now had a gun to his mother. While doing so, he misfired and her ears started bleeding.

Sunita Darvesh, the other victim, talks about her uncle. He had cigarette marks on his body after returning home four days since going missing.

Sarla Taploo and her son remember the fateful day of September 14, when Kashmiri Pandits, including Pandit Tikalal Taploo, died. From using hot iron press to breaking elbows, the horror is relived, this time with words.

Vivek and Pallavi raise some questions that will make you think harder. The docu-series ends with them and the team of The Kashmir Files sharing their feelings with Kashmiri Pandits at the screening of The Kashmir Files in 2022. The docu-series remembers Kashmir as a whole – the good, bad and ugly. Maybe there’s nothing more beautiful than that.


The Kashmir Files: Unreported commences as a documentary that tries to question many things that have happened with Kashmir in the past. While continuing that, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri also does a real and reel comparison from his film to the documentary.

The docu-series is a response to those who called The Kashmir Files a propaganda film. It is also another attempt at stirring up emotions after The Kashmir Files. While we recommend that you watch the series is you have seen The Kashmir Files, you take a call on how you would like to perceive this project.