In the late 80’s, Muzaffar Ali had embarked on an ambitious venture based on the life of Habba Khatoon.

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From the #FIarchives:

In the late 80’s, Muzaffar Ali had embarked on an ambitious venture based on the life of Habba Khatoon, featuring Dimple Kapadia in the title role of Zooni. The film had to be aborted because of growing militancy in the valley. Other aborted ventures of Ali include a biopic on Rumi, in which he had envisaged Dustin Hoffman as the 13th-century Persian poet. Recent films set (and partly shot) in Kashmir include Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider and Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor, in which Rekha’s styling (and later Tabu’s) was suggestive of Kapadia’s in Zooni.

Images (clockwise from top): Kapadia with co-starVinod Khanna in Kashmir; a portrait of the star by Marcus Leatherdale (unrelated to the film); with Ali in Kashmir, in better times; Ali, in a file photo; Kapadia puts on makeup as she gets ready for a shoot. A Kashmiri crowd, of mostly teenagers, looks on, 1989.

The latter image is from a book by Mary McFadden, costume designer for the film, who described it to The New York Times, “This is like a Cecil B. DeMille production, with 1,000 people in two villages to dress. There are no records of how people looked, and no miniatures like other places. I took a melange of looks from the high courts of Persia and Suleiman the Magnificent in Constantinople, so they have more of a Persian feeling. The Mogul Empire had not yet influenced Kashmir.” FollowBollywoodirect

Courtesy- Film Impressions .

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