Thursday, November 23, 2017

19th Madurai Film Festival 2017 : Marupakkam - Director's Cut

19th Madurai  International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2017
Marupakkam - Director’s Cut

18 Feet
Dir: Renjit Kuzhur; 77 min; Malayalam with English subtitles; Documentary; India

Karinthalakoottam is an indigenous band that propagates the music of soul to connect people with a sense of historic resolution. 18 feet symbolizes the holy distance dalits, the downtrodden, were to ensure for the sanctity of upper castes. P R Remesh, a city public-bus conductor, is the man behind the exuberant squad that drums empathy for all in denial of historic untouchability attached to the disused community. The troop is the vanguard in redefining the identity of people who are battered by senseless incorrectness through centuries. The downtown Kerala band rekindles the sense of sanity for all with a massage of love and harmony.

Nicobar, a long way
Dir: Richa Hushing; 65 min; Nicobarese, Hindi and English; Documentary; India

Deep in the Bay of Bengal, the Nicobar archipelago, a tribal reserve protected under Andaman and Nicobar Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation, was worst hit by the Tsunami of 26th December 2004. Self-subsistent and relatively isolated, post Tsunami the aboriginal world was suddenly invaded

I am Bonnie
Dir: Farha Katun, Satarupa Santra, Saurabh Kanti Dutta; 45 min; Bengali with English subtitles; Documentary; India

Bonnie (33) is again on the run. He has been on the run from his family and sports fraternity since failing 'sex test' before the Bangkok Asian Games, 1998.
A born intersex, raised by poor, illiterate and confused parents as a girl named 'Bandana', s/he became one of the finest strikers of Indian Woman's football team in her/his short career.
A Sex Reassignment surgery later transformed her/him to a man but left him without home or career. He left home, took up idol-making for a living. He met Swati (F24) then; they fell in love and married soon but had to move once again fearing social backlash.
His fight to establish his identity, struggle for existence is met by a sarcastic society which is yet to learn to take 'other genders' seriously.

Mod (70 min)
Dir: Pushpa Rawat; 69 min; India; Documentary; Documentary; India

'Mod' is an attempt by the filmmaker at communicating with the young men who hang out at the ‘notorious’ water tank in her neighbourhood in Pratap Vihar, Ghaziabad. The water tank is a space that is frequented by the so-called ‘no-gooders’ of the locality, a place where they play cricket, play cards, drink and smoke up. When she enters the space with her camera, the boys are curious and at the same time wary of it and her. They sometimes resist, sometimes protest, and at times, open up. As the film unfolds we get a hint of the lives the boys lead and the fragile world they create for themselves at the water tank.

Dir: Divya Bharathi; 108 min; Tamil with English subtitles; Documentary; India

The documentary, shot in 25 districts for over a year, conveys the message that even though manual scavenging was banned in India in 2013 it continues to exist and conservancy workers are involved in removing human waste. The film is dedicated to those who maintain a “false silence on manual scavenging”.

Miryavar Kahi Mahine (Many Months in Mirya)
Dir: Renu Sawant; 3 hours 50 min; Marathi with Eng subtitles; Documentary; India

In 2015, I stayed and shot in my ancestral village in western coastal India, and the film is a record of this village during that time. The resulting film flows into stories of people and events happening in the village. The subject's canvass demanded the scale of the longer narrative form, like a novel in digital video.

Special Service
Dir: Ujjwal Utkarsh; 18:30 min; English, Hindi, Telugu; Documentary; India

Rohith Vemula committed suicide because of problems he was facing in the institute he was studying by the virtue of being from a particular caste. With his demise, there was a wave of protests that happened across the country. The state did try to repress a lot of these protests. The state, as it is turning out to be, is becoming more and more authoritarian and the space to dissent is being squashed systematically.
This piece, special service, revolves around a candle light vigil that was organised in respect of Rohith Vemula in Delhi. Surprisingly, the vigil was also NOT allowed by the state and people at the vigil were detained.

This is like Gold Only
Dir: Ujjwal Utkarsh; 78 min; Maithili/English/Hindi; Documentary; India

Makhana farming is a specialized and painstaking process practised by farmers of the Mallah community of North Bihar. A species similar to the lotus family, the fox nut plants are cultivated in ponds and their seed of are collected from the bottom of the lake. Through an elaborate process of popping by hand on high heat we get 'makhana' in a state which can be packed and sold. Despite health risks to them, makhana cultivators continue to follow this process. The conventional, gruesomely laborious process has the farmers and their families' lives revolving around it. Due to the seasonal nature of this process, these families live a migratory way of life and almost everybody in the family is involved in the process.

In making of an observational piece on the makhana harvesting and production, there were lots of production issues which made the filmmaker question the filmmaking process and the idea of the ‘observational’ film. Ee toh sona chhe (This is like Gold only) film juxtaposes the production process of the film and of makhana making in order to get a deeper insight into his own ideas of filmmaking, through the particular experience of making this film.

Survey Number Zero
Dir: Priya Thuvassery; 31 min; Gujarati with Eng subtitles; Documentary; India

Story of three women from Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. The Salt they make and a Land which has never been surveyed.

A Walnut Tree
Dir: Ammar Azis; 92 min; Documentary; Pakistan

An old man reminisces about a distant homeland. He wants to return. Internally displaced as a result of the ongoing war between the Pakistan army and the Taliban and forced to live in a camp, the family is caught between memories of what life was, an insecure present and a bleak future.

Silence in the Courts
Dir: Prasanna Vithanage; 57 min; Documentary; Sri Lanka

Two women from rural Sri Lanka, sexually abused by a Judge nearly two decades ago, try in vain to seek justice.  As their plea is turned down and subverted by the country’s highest authorities, noted journalist Victor Ivan begins to write in-depth stories highlighting their plight, the state of the justice system and its lack of commitment to the downtrodden – to no avail.  This film traces stories of these hapless women and the journalist twenty years on, and attempts to understand this shocking miscarriage of justice and how the powerful can sometimes be above the law.

Camera Threat
Dir: Bernd Lützeler; 30 min; Hindi and English; Short film; Germany and India

Somewhere in the rather dreary spheres of Mumbai's film industry, stuck between star-cult, superstition and the daily gridlock, Camera Threat explores the ambivalent and sometimes paranoid relationship that this film city has with the moving image as such. Seated on a casting couch, two actors are getting trapped in their impromptu conversations on the unwanted side effects of a world that no longer bothers to tell facts from fiction. An expanded multi-genre film within the constraints of the so-called Masala Formula popularly known from Indian cinema.

The Simple Day
Dir: Maria Khristoforova; 21 min; Hindi and English; Documentary; Russia and India

The simple day in the life of rickshaw driver in Delhi, India.

Highway Rest Stop
Dir: Isabelle Ingold; 80 min; Chinese, English, French, Italian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish; Documentary; France

This film traces out the portrait of a motorway rest area located in the countryside in the North of France. It looks like a dream, filled with the whispers thoughts and the lives of those who work here, as well as those who are just passing through. It is also a very concrete place, a perfect spot to observe today’s Europe, the violence carried by the free competition of a single market, the nostalgia carried by uprooted lives, and all the solitude engendered by our modern world.

No comments: