As anticipation for the upcoming Sonam Kapoor-starrer Neerja continues to build, the audience is remembering Neerja Bhanot, the film’s titular character who sacrificed her life to save 359 passengers aboard the hijacked Pan Am flight 73 in 1986.
But it’s not just the audience who has been touched by Neerja’s story! In the wake of the film’s release, the daughter of one of the pilots on the plane, Nicole Thomas Fredrick, has written an open letter to the makers and expressed her desire to watch the film.
In her heartfelt letter, Nicole speaks about Neerja, her heroic efforts, and the things that conspired that day.
The letter reveals:
“The film’s trailer brings out the intense emotions that were going on at that time. I remember everything that happened in those 48 hours and this stirred up a lot of feelings for me again.
“Pilots were extensively trained to evacuate the aircraft for negotiating power. In 1986, terrorists didn’t know how to fly airplanes, so that was a bargaining tool to buy time. She did a lot to save the lives of Americans (specifically) and I will always remember that. I can’t wait to see the film. Hopefully, it will release where I live.”
Nicole is not the only one who has reached out, either; the makers have received numerous letters of gratitude from survivors for sharing their story with the world.
Directed by Ram Madhvani, Neerja revisits the story of courage shown by the 23-year-old Mumbai-based flight attendant who was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra for bravery—the youngest recipient to receive the honor. Neerja is produced by Bling Unplugged and Fox Star Studios. The movie is slated to release on February 19th, 2016.