Segments in this Video

Mara: Rochester, New York (06:52)


Mara Ahmed's mother Nilofar Saleem was five when India was partitioned on the basis of religion; her Muslim family lived in a Hindu neighborhood. Sajida Burki enjoyed watching Sikhs drive tongas. Ahmed grew up in Europe and returned to Pakistan as a teenager; she shares a childhood dream.

Surbhi: New Delhi, India (06:40)

Surbhi Dewan's aunt Jitender Sethi was 16 when India was partitioned. Her family had Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh friends. Jatinder Nath Sethi recalls living in mixed communities.

Separate Communities (04:35)

Santosh Malik, Javed Qureshi, and Saleem recall separation by religion and the idea to separate Pakistan. Hear a poem by John Siddique.

Separate But Multi-Religious States (08:53)

British colonizers categorized religious conflict before Partition as communal violence. Residents faced uncertainty about borders, no provisions for mass migration, and violence. A short story allowed Uzma Aslam Khan to better understand her father's experience.

Violence of Partition (05:25)

British troops were demobilized despite violence in Bengal and Punjab. Violence occurred on intimate and organized levels; hear experiences.

Foot Convoys (04:44)

Rafique Ahmed Qureshi was detained for one month under the Public Safety Act. After release, he joined a convoy of 80,000 villagers; hear other experiences. Culture changed toward women.

History of Movement (06:17)

In 2007, Dewan moved to the U.S. but visited Delhi in the summer. Saleem recalls arriving in Lahore and living in a Hindu house. Asim Rafiqui reflects on multi-religious aspects sharing spaces.

Lasting Effects of Partition (05:09)

Dewan visited the India/Pakistan border as a teen. People discuss life before and after Partition. Urvashi Butalia reflects on the deep feelings associated with the division.

Sense of Identity (05:33)

After Partition, Pakistanis and Indians had to reinvent themselves. Some princely states had to be forcefully integrated. Hear reflections on transcending national identities and overcoming the violence of Partition.

Peace Between India and Pakistan? (04:42)

People in both countries share thoughts on the benefits of peace, government power, mindsets, and friendship. Nationalism is a pushback against globalization.

Credits: A Thin Wall: Stories from the Partition of India (05:03)

Credits: A Thin Wall: Stories from the Partition of India

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A Thin Wall: Stories from the Partition of India

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This is a documentary about memory, history, and the possibility of reconciliation. It focuses on the partition of India in 1947, but derives lessons that remain urgently relevant today. Shot on both sides of the border - in modern day India and Pakistan - this film is a personal take on partition, rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another. It is written and directed by Mara Ahmed and co-produced by Surbhi Dewan. Both filmmakers are descendants of families torn apart by partition. The film is also a work of art infused with original animation, music, and literary writing.

Length: 66 minutes

Item#: BVL152587

ISBN: 978-1-64347-863-0

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

"Mara Ahmed’s A THIN WALL is akin to a beautiful and powerful book of essays: many voices sharing poetic, personal, and political stories and viewpoints, woven together to convey a universal aching. It is a textural and tangible journey that captures a profound sense of loss for more than one generation. May we all embrace the lessons this film has to offer." (Linda Moroney, Director, Greentopia Film)

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.