Dozens of people lost their lives in the 2008 terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India. Years later, five witnesses return to the scene. Until the day of the attack, their lives had been entirely different, and each of them was at the hotel for an entirely different reason. Now they share this traumatic experience. Personal stories, security camera footage and an interview with one of the perpetrators recreate the horrific night when the hotel and its guests were held under fire for hours. The camerawork, editing and music conjure a sense of foreboding, and an impression of what it must have been like to be locked in a hotel room, hiding terrified under the bed, not knowing where the gunman might be. The effect that fear can have on a person is apparent from the way it has changed each witness’s view of life. The traumatic event raises existential questions about freedom, religion, vulnerability versus control, and the illusion of security.
Iris Lammertsma for Witfilm, Boudewijn Koole for Witfilm