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Breaking Baz @ TIFF: Hollywood Filmmaker Tarsem Singh On Shooting ‘Dear Jassi’, His First Film In India; Helmer Talks Of Mothers And Murder

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EXCLUSIVE: Director Tarsem Singh thought of his own sainted mother as he tried to understand why a Canadian woman of Indian heritage would plot to have her daughter abducted then murdered.

It was to be a significant moment as Singh prepared to shoot Dear Jassi, his first feature shot in India, the land of his birth.

The riveting film played at TIFF, shocking audiences who thought they were going to watch a gentle love story. ”It is a love story,” Singh noted, but with a grisly murder at its center.

Dear Jassi is inspired by the real-life honor killing of Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu in June 2000. Aided by a local policeman, thugs ambushed Jaswinder and her husband, dragged the young bride to a desolate farm in a Punjabi village and slit her throat on the direct orders of the girl’s mother, who was at the other end of a phone thousands of miles away in Vancouver, according to court testimony and police reports. “You don’t hear about it,” Singh said of the act of filicide, “but it’s more often than you think.” The only way he could comprehend “what a villainous character this person was is to think of a pure person that I know.

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