Watch: How 'Viceroy's House' Dramatizes Indian Partition That Made 15 Million People Refugees

The haunting effect of partition is illuminated on the big screen in director Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House .

Set in 1947 as Britain ended its colonial rule of India and separated the country into two states—India, home to Hindus and Sikhs, and Muslim-majority Pakistan— Chadha’s period drama reflects on the conflict partition caused, forcing people to choose where they wanted to live. Ultimately, 15 million people were displaced from their homes.

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Hugh Bonneville stars in "Viceroy's House," a new Gurinder Chadha film on the partition of India into India and Pakistan. Pathe UK

Conflict erupted, too, as religious tensions between the two countries added to an already difficult split.

In an exclusive clip from Viceroy’s House , Lord Louis Mountbatten, played by Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, the final viceroy posted in India by the British government sets into motion the plans for partition.

Mountbatten tasks the British lawyer Cyril Radcliffe (Simon Callow) with deciding where, geographically, the two countries would be separated. “You’re asking me to draw a line through people’s houses?” he says.

The clip also features veteran British actor Michael Gambon, who plays General Hastings Ismay, Mountbatten’s chief of staff who helped oversee partition.

Viceroy’s House is released across the U.K. on March 3.

Read an exclusive interview with director Gurinder Chadha in the latest issue of Newsweek International , on newsstands from Friday.Try Newsweek: Subscription offers


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