'New York' is on post-9/11 prejudices: Kabir Khan (Interview)

Director Kabir Khan is ready with his second directorial venture 'New York' and says the film highlights prejudices against ...

Saturday, June 13, 2009 | 9:39:42 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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New Delhi: Director Kabir Khan is ready with his second directorial venture 'New York' and says the film highlights prejudices against certain nationalities and religions across the world after the 9/11 attacks in the US.

' 'New York' is based on part of the political canvas of 9/11, but it speaks of prejudices after the great human tragedy. It is a definite and very relevant subject about post-9/11 prejudices that have increased after the attacks,' Khan told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.

'We have in fact divided time in a pre- and post-9/11 world in the film to highlight its obvious repercussions in times to come. The repercussions of the attacks are still very strongly felt globally and will continue to do so,' said Khan who made his directorial debut with 'Kabul Express'.

Set in New York, the narrative is spread over nine years and revolves around three young friends whose lives take an unexpected turn after the terrorist attacks. Produced and distributed by Yash Raj Films, 'New York' stars John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Irrfan Khan in the lead.

It is releasing June 26 worldwide.

Kabir Khan, who shot the film in New York as well as Philadelphia, says shooting in New York came easy.

'They (New York Film Commission) were fully supportive, as it is not an anti-something film. It is a very balanced story and not a jingoistic film.

'Even the American crew enjoyed it. In fact, the last day of our shoot was the last day of George W. Bush's presidency in the US...the very next day Barack Obama took charge (as the new American president),' he said.

'Kabul Express' had showcased the autobiographical aspects of his stay in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

On being asked if 'New York' also has such personal elements, Khan said: ' 'Kabul Express' was very autobiographical but 'New York' is a wider and much larger journey. Though it has been drawn from my experiences that I've seen and observed during 9/11, as I was there when it happened, it is not autobiographical at all.

'The treatment is more dramatic and more mainstream but eccentricities are very different. Instances like people's experiences with the FBI and the whole society getting paranoid and prejudiced...a lot of such observation, research and talking with people has gone behind the film,' he explained.

Asked if it was in any way a tribute to the Indian victims of the disaster, he asserted: 'I won't call it a tribute to any Indian who is a victim of the attacks. It's a great human tragedy and we can't trivialise it by drawing lines on nationality.

'The movie is actually part of a global and contemporary story. It's just that it's a Hindi film and the actors are Hindi protagonists. But the characters can be from any part of the world.'

Apart from his directorial debut, Khan's two documentaries -- 'The Forgotten Army' (1999) and 'The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl' (2006) -- too revolved around serious subjects.

'It's not about fascination. These are things that are dominating the world today and both my films are human stories set against these backdrops. However, it was not a conscious decision at all to make a film with a 9/11 context but while we were working on the story, it just got into it,' he said.

Khan's next project is also for Yash Raj Films.

(Robin Bansal can be contacted at

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Posted on: 15 June 2009 at 5:22am
the 3 look great and am hoping the same magic from KK that he did in his last movie

wish him all the best

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Posted on: 14 June 2009 at 8:57pm
can't can't wait to see this movie, because of two reasons one, the story, and two the star cast especially JOHN! :D <3 I love you JOhn and hope is movie is a Huge HIT world wide! inshallah :)

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Posted on: 14 June 2009 at 11:57am
wow dat sounds i'm even more anxious to watch the movie....9/11 attacks are really damn depressing nd its a great thought on making a movie based on dose attacks....<3

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Posted on: 14 June 2009 at 9:33am
Sounds Interesting...The moive sounds pretty interesting...It's a movie I'm looking forward to after a looong I can't wait to watch it...But having span over nine years makes me wonder how its actually gonna turn out :-S. One of my main reasons for watching this movie is the Neil, Katrina, John friendship angle...also Katrina has never really done a movie that has a serious cause behind it, so I want to know if she can pull the role off...

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Posted on: 14 June 2009 at 8:29am
To all those people who keep on insisting that we have lived all our life in NY and never were the victimes of Prejudices. Well thats great and I hope this continues, but it does not mean that the preudices do not exists. 9/11 was a tragic indcident, but so was the racial attacks after that.

I think before someone judges about the racial attacks, he/she must go and talk to someone who has faced all this. If anyone requires the resulf of latest poll conducted in the US, please pm me and it would clarify to you what prejudice really means!!

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Posted on: 14 June 2009 at 7:43am
i cant wait to watch it cant wait thnks 4 d article

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Posted on: 13 June 2009 at 11:03pm
Finally a Hindi film release after a long time...hope its good...

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Posted on: 13 June 2009 at 10:48pm
gna watch it for the actors but i have to say..i lived in NY my entire life n i've never felt any kind of prejudice. neither has anyone i know

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Posted on: 13 June 2009 at 7:12pm
Interesting subject. But I hope they do justice to it. The events of 9/11 were indeed tragic but it does not justify racial attacks on innocent people and prejudice is like a disease. There is a great deal of misunderstanding and hatred, which is extremely dangerous. But I hope the film handles the subject well.

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Posted on: 13 June 2009 at 4:20pm
If I watch'll only be for John.
I hate the fact that kabir khan is trying to portray americans as racist cos a lot of south east asians already have that view and the movie is probably going to reinforce that thought a lot more! I have a LOT of family in NY and NJ but none of them have ever faced such prejudice. Stop generalising the west! It's just a movie I know-but they don't realise how people take things to be word to word!
The prejudice are NOTHING compared 2 what the lives taken in 9/11 blasts. They are nothing compared to what their families have had to go through!! :@

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