About the Film

The film is about Tamil Muslim history and identity, and how Islam took early roots in the Tamil country, even as it was spreading across the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. The story is told through Kombai S. Anwar’s perspective, and covers archaeological excavations, inscriptions, old mosques built in the architectural traditions of Tamil Nadu & Kerala, literature and interviews with well known historians. The film showcases more than a millennium old harmonious co-existence of Islam in Tamizhagam.

About the Film Maker

Kombai S. Anwar started his career as a freelance Journalist and photographer with ‘Aside’, a Chennai based fortnightly. He went on to publish in other newspapers and magazines and was also involved in the electronic media, before he found his true calling in documenting History. As an independent researcher he has been focusing on South Indian history, in particular the much misunderstood Muslim history. He is also a contributor to the “Madras Gazetteer Project”, which documents the history of Madras that is Chennai from 1600 to 2000 CE. He was commissioned by the Archaeological Survey of India to make a series of short films on the Big Temple at Thanjavur, made in commemoration of the 1000th year celebrations of the famous World Heritage Monument.

Making of the film

When we began work on the film about four years ago DVCAM was the widely used video format. After a year and half of traveling all over Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and filming archaeological excavations, temples and mosques, the film was almost 70% over.

That is when the opportunity to make a series of short films on the Big Temple at Thanjavur happened. It was the 1000th year commemoration of the Big Temple at Thanjavur.

A once in a lifetime opportunity, ‘Yaadhum’ took a back seat for a while. With High Definition camera making inroads, the Big Temple film for the ASI was shot on HD.

The visual appeal of the HD format made us to reshoot ‘Yaadhum’ into HD. As the film has many festivals and functions, it required to be spread over a year again. Editing took many more months.