Tuesday, November 8, 2022

24th Madurai Film Festival : Documentaries

24th MIDSFF 22 : Selected Films : Documentaries

1) Dajla : cinema and oblivion
Dir : Arturo Duenas Herrero; 15 min; Spain; Documentary

Life is going on in Dakhla, one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in southern Algeria, forgotten for 45 years. The celebration of a film festival, the Fisahara, breaks the monotony. The event ends, life (and oblivion) continues.

3) Native Place

Dir: Andrew Francisco; 34.59 min; India; Documentary

'Native Place' is a film about movement and economic competition, told through the stories of those who have come to Delhi to earn. From day laborers to a stock broker, these characters are all compelled by the push and pull of the need to make a living.

2) The Renegade Legacy of Bleecker and MacDougal

Dir : Karen Kramer; 72.42 min; United States; Documentary

Scenes of ground-breaking subversive poetry, radical music and activism that started more than 50 years ago in small cafes in New York City and went on to help change the political and social nature of the US. are interwoven with current - and important - scenes of today's contemporary poets, protest singers, and activists who are using their work for social change. Filled with appearances of iconic legends, this documentary celebrates creativity, protest, and original ways to fight conformity.

3) Third

Dir : Manash Pratim Dutta; 22.57 min; India; Documentary

THIRD is about the stories of transgender people residing in Assam, a northeastern state of India. The documentary focuses on the alienation of transgender people in the Assamese society which is mostly conservative in nature, due to which most transgender people are compelled to leave their homes at a very early age.

4) In the Mind’s Garden

Dir : Matteo Balsamo; 90 min; Italy; Documentary

On the shores of Lake Como, an association for mental health meets once a week to write a periodical. Everyone bring their story, their ups and downs, their tragedies and solidarity. Patients, psychiatrists, and photo-reporters from all over the world offer a unique view on mental health, its social implications, hospitals, treatments, support for families, and the regulations governing the sector.

5) Ripples Under the Skin

Dir : Farha Khatun; 29 min; India; Documentary

‘Ripples of water’ tells the story of this man and this city – it tells the story of the Calcutta that lurks behind the glitz and glamour of today’s Calcutta, it tells the story of a community of migrant workers who had come to this city to make a living, a city that never invited them yet somehow they made home, a city that they built with their blood and sweat, yet ‘home’ remained elusive, a city that nourishes, waters itself through the toils of people like Nazim kaka, yet conveniently forgets, casts them away when it chooses to walk towards the future.

6) Life in Loom

Dir : Edmond Ranson; 100 min; India; Documentary

Weavers from seven different states of India including Tamilnadu, Gujarat, Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Ladakh and UP share their experiences of weaving on looms.

7) Chas Nedytiachy

Dir : Olga Samolevska; 60.13 min; Ukraine; Documentary 

his film that avoids rhetoric, but warns of the dangers of fueling World War III. 

There are elderly Ukrainians who survived World War II when they were kids. All united by a bitter experience of unforgettable tragedies. Now Ukrainian kids are witnessing a new war. Let's look at the war through the eyes of the children.

8) Out of Sight

Dir : Corinne Falhun; 52.41 min; France; Documentary

Alban is 44 years old. He’s suffering from retinitis pigmentosa and is going through this harrowing moment called conversion, the progressive and inevitable loss of vision. Little by little, Alban is learning to experience another corporal dimension, which involves touching, sound and memory. The film relates his intropsective path, through his heightened sensory perception of the nature, towards a form of plenitude. 

9) How Do I Show the Ocean Space You Carried Inside You?

Dir : Abeer Rafeeq Khan; 42 min; India; Documentary

This film HOW DO I SHOW THE OCEAN SPACE YOU CARRIED INSIDE YOU? looks at the way that life and death are not two separate elements but are constantly changing one another. The site where this intermingling and transforming happens is the human body. The film explores the life and work of the Gujarati poet, playwright, director and actor Bhadrakant Zaveri, who was fatally injured in a bomb blast in 1993.

10) Luc : Between Darkness and Light

Dir : Marina Dessiatkina; 83.21 min; Canada; Documentary

This character-driven documentary follows internationally-known artist Luc Bihan who, burned out at midlife, seeks to rekindle his creativity while supervising his thriving Toronto art school.

11) Camopi One

Dir : Laure Subreville; 52.47 min; France; Documentary

In Camopi, a village encircled by the Guiana forest and the Oyapock River, the WayĆ£pi and Teko people look across the river to Brazil. The piercing sounds of tule clarinets resonate in the home of Breteau Jean-Baptiste, the chief musician. Music is everywhere in the village. Richardson, Simeon and so many other young men improvise freestyles in the village square, under the big cheese tree. With a single smartphone and a Bluetooth speaker, their lyrics convey the messages of an entire Amerindian generation, torn between traditions, dreams of a record label and fame on the Guyanese coast.

12) In Search of Gold - a portrait of Kolar Gold Fields

Dir : Basav Biradar; 34.43 min; India; Documentary

Set in the once thriving colonial gold mining township of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), IN SEARCH OF GOLD attempts to understand the different lived and remembered histories of people who built this highly profitable enterprise. Aided by the grim imagery of now defunct mining operations, the film brings together narratives of collective socio-political struggles of the past, nostalgia for lost privilege, and the anxiety of an uncertain future, of a fragmented society.

13) Dews of the Storm

Dir : Akshit Sharma; 13.42 min; India; Documentary

The film explores the struggles faced by the farmers showing dissent on the newly imposed law by the state. The challenges are amplified by the weather as camps of buoyant farmers are disrupted and flooded by storms and heavy rains.

14) Come! Let’s march to Una

Dir : Umwall Utkarsh; 95 min; India; Documentary

In August 2016, one of the largest Dalit anti-caste protest-rally in recent history of India was organised. The 10-day rally marched from Ahmedabad to Una in solidarity with four people who had been flogged in Una in an act of caste-related violence. Chalo Una is an intimate look at the remains of this rally. Shot three years to the date of the original rally, the film retraces its path, going to various sites of village meetings, protests, and so on. 

15) My Friend Alexander Grigorievich 

Dir: Pavel Zelenov; 25 min; Russian Federation; Documentary

Alexander Grigorievich is a lonely man. Both his sons emigrated abroad many years ago: each has his own family and spares no thoughts for his father. His relationship with his ex-wife has gone sour: they are not interested in each other's lives. He collects scrap metal at garbage dumps and hands it over at drop-offs, and only his cat waits for him at home.

16) Maria’s Silence

Dir : Cesare Bedgone; 38 min; Italy; Documentary

This film is based on documentary material but is not, strictly speaking, a documentary film. Nor it is a work of fiction. The film rather appeared to us like a dream, not a nocturnal dream, but one which unfolded day by day while shooting. 

A dream shared between the photographer-director and the actress (or, better, the woman portrayed in the feature), which nevertheless seemed to follow its own, enigmatic necessity through which the daily shots joined almost magnetically, interweaving in a pattern of superimposed layers that unceasingly merge and dissolve one in another, in the constant flux, crystallisation and reshaping of psychic interior. 

17) White Slam - a documentary and Carrom

Dir Satish Ganapathy; 31.35 min; India; Documentary

While the game of carrom is global, the world champions of this game extraordinarily come from one single slum community in North Madras! This small area North of Chennai holds the record for the most number of World Champions in carrom. White Slam explores this unique distinction of this community.

18) Windows of Time

Dir : Mrinmoy Nandi; 75.45 min; India; Documentary

In the first Covid-19 lockdown situation in 2020, a new existential discourse was developed in the new relationship between non-human elements and the human beings. A sense of “conflict/tension” was started taking its shape along the ‘Time’ traversed then. 

19) Deedar Le, Deedar De

Dir :Abhra Singha Roy, Isha Tyagi; 24.20 min; India; Documentary

The film explores the construction of gazes in popular media, creating a narrative by juxtaposing a wide range of cinematic imagery. Intercutting this gaze with feelings of guilt and shame that are intricately woven with the pursuit of female desires, the film also engages with the enquiries: why do women hesitate to look back at their object of desire? 

20) Defeated But Not Conquered

Dir : Mau Cardoso; 53 min; Spain; Documentary

Defeated But Not Conquered is a documentary that denounces violence against women before, during and after the Franco dictatorship.

21) City Girls

Dir : Priya Thuvassery; 28.14 min; India; Documentary

City Girls' is an intimate portrayal of two young girls from small towns of India now living in Delhi. The film attempts to deconstruct the image of ‘the city’ and what it means for a young woman brought up in an 'elsewhere' she's longed to escape from all her life. 

22) @buddhistandqueer : the journey from sprees to robe

Dir : Dani Sachnez-Lopez; 23.20 min; Spain; Documentary

Tashi, a young queer activist in India, renounces their sexuality, and wearing sarees, to take on Buddhist robes. Flagging both their queer gender and their faith, they pushes on the fight for LGBTQI+ rights in the turbulent oceans of current Indian politics.

23) No Way Out

Dir : Sheikh Al Mamun; 61.12 min; Republic of Korea; Documentary

18 years have passed since the implementation of the Employment Permit System, and through this system, many migrant workers have stepped on Korean land, with the goal of chasing their dreams. The protagonists of this film also came to Korea in search of a dream, but because there’s no freedom to change workplace in the Employment Permit System, 

their dreams are hitting the walls of reality.This is the story of 3 migrant workers living the harsh lives of laborers. 

24) Seven Seeds

Dir : N Ravindran; 33.14 min; India; Documentary

Seven Seeds is the origin story of Indian filter coffee. It explores the journey of coffee from seed to cup. Coffee planters of Chikamagalur, Karnataka, share their stories on how an Indian filter coffee is made, through presumably insurmountable challenges. Climate change, keeping traditional cultivation methods alive, and navigating the changing economics of agriculture in India. This is seven seeds.

25) We Make Film

Dir : Shweta Ghosh; 80 min; India; Documentary

At a time of ever increasing media access, anyone who wants to make a film should be able to make one. But what happens when you’re assumed as incapable or ‘difficult’ to work with, or need adjustments to make the creative process accessible? 

Set across three cities in India, We Make Film explores the creative journeys of d/Deaf and disabled filmmakers Debopriya, Mijo and Anuja.

26) Neither a Girl Nor a Woman

Dir : Anjali Patil; 60 min; India; Documentary

Neither a girl nor a woman is a feature length documentary which contemplates, observes and plays along with ideas of what it means to be a girl or a woman in contemporary times. 

This documentary observes the spectrum of womanhood via three female artists on three levels. 

A formal space of interview, an intimate space of poetry and a collective space of choreographic gestures. 

27) Sweet Press

Dir : Laura lance; 7 min; United States; Documentary

In a small town in Virginia a young family forwards the tradition of Sorgum pressing and makes sweet autumn memories.

28) The Middle of the Road

Dir : Erika Velenciana; 20 min; United States; Documentary

Three brave girls tell their harrowing stories through a combination of experimental camerawork and paper stop-motion animation to protect their identities, including animation created by survivors.

29) Ruuposh

Dir : Mohd Fehmeed, Zeeshan Amir Khan; 32.25 min; India; Documentary

Ruuposh is an idiosyncratic documentary that features Ruksana Begum- her late father Mehboob Khan and her son- Mohd Fehmeed, who belong to a Muslim minority family of India 2021. The documentary follows a personal narrative of how Mehboob Khan stayed back in India at the time of partition while his entire extended family moved to Pakistan.

30) Unseparation 

Dir : Natalia Gugueva; 60 min; Russian Federation ; Documentary

Ballet dancers Oleg and Vera divorced 30 years ago. Each of them has a new family today. The business trip they are going on is their chance to figure out why they failed to save their family, but still can't finally break up. A dramatic story of love and hate, betrayal and infidelity, forgiveness and the impossibility of being together again.

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