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The Talent Behind the Tension of “I See You”

The most passive role to hatred is ignorance. Simply by ignoring the plight of others we can focus on our “truth” being the only valid reality. Artists have often led the charge in opposing this idea, filmmakers in particular. The medium of film is at present the most effective means of inhabiting the lives, experiences, and emotions of other people. Producer Carina Chavda worked with critically acclaimed writer-director Manjari Makijany and Emmanuel Pappas on the equally popular and provocative film I See You. The story explores the mind of a would be terrorist bomber and the events which have led him to this juncture. Chavda and Makijany collaborated with two-time BAFTA winning composer Marius De Vries, Aaron Glascock (Academy-Award-Nominated sound designer of BirdMan), and post-production from Warner Brothers on this film screened at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, New York Indian Film Festival, and winner of Best Film at the 40th Asian American Film Festival in New York City.


I See You is the type of story that most filmmakers will avoid. It’s the challenging nature of the perspective of its characters and their lives that made it so intriguing for Carina. This is the story of a suicide bomber in New York City who is planning to do the unspeakable, commit a premeditated attack on innocent civilians. In the early part of the film we witness his anxiety as well as his apprehension. Guided by a disembodied telephone superior, he is instructed that the process will be over before he knows it. As the bomber prepares to board an NYC subway train, he encounters a woman and her friendly granddaughter. When the little girl engages the man and persists in her attempts to converse with him, the would-be bomber remembers another little girl who was killed by an explosion in his home; his own daughter. Shocked back into reality and that he will continue this cycle of violence which destroyed his life, the man races away from the crowded station as his overseers become aware that he has abandoned his mission. What happens next is shocking in this story full of twists and turns.

I See You is a film full of large crowd scenes. This adds to the tension and believability of the story. Carina is quite proud of what the film achieved with these scenes as she relates, “We filmed the interiors of the subway train on the CBS lot but the exteriors were shot in an actual Los Angeles subway terminal. LA is a very crowded city and managing our massive group of extras with the already substantial LA commuters was considerable. We also transformed a Southern California ranch into a Middle Eastern marketplace with great success. It’s so authentic looking! Our team was truly amazing.”

Even with so many acclaimed and award-winning artists involved in this film, one never knows what the public and industry will embrace. An early indicator in the success of I See You was when it was selected for the American Pavilion screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Daring storytelling created by so many talented professionals earned the film its due accolades. What the acceptance of this film signifies prominently is that the world finds itself at a time when it is willing to accept the complexities of the situation displayed in this story. The idea is that there is good in everyone and that by considering this and exploring the lives of others we may perhaps grow to a place where we can end violence and terrorist acts of this sort. It seems justified that this story was created in America by talented artist who come from all over the world to illuminate a situation decades long. Artists like Carina Chavda are doing as much to bring about change as the leaders who speak of it.

Author: Patrick Wilson
The Talent Behind the Tension of “I See You” Reviewed by JaamZIN on 9:18:00 AM Rating: 5
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