This year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will present a number of Bollywood and Bollywood centric films screened for audiences.  Amongst them is Nandita Das’s Manto, a biopic that follows the most tumultuous years in the life of iconoclastic writer Saadat Hasan Manto and those of the countries — India and Pakistan — Manto inhabited and chronicled.

Born in May 1912, Manto was a Pakistani writer and playwright who wrote in Urdu and is known to have a collection of stories, books, plays and literary works.  Best known for his stories of the partition between Indian and Pakistan in 1947, he speaks about the  chaos that followed the partition and chronicled the horror stories, presenting the dark side of the human psyche.

Manto himself alongwith his family, moved to Lahore from Bombay (now Mumbai) and associated with intellectuals like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, etc, gathering at the Pak Tea House in Lahore.  The venue was witness to flaming political discussions where anything and everything was discussed without fear.

Leaving behind a long legacy of literary works, Manto passed away in January 1955.

According to Wikipedia, Manto has been commemorated with a postage stamp in Pakistan. As well he was posthumously honoured with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz award by the Pakistani government.

TIFF runs from September 6-16, 2018 in Toronto. ( – FOR THE LOVE OF FILMS) 

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