A DOCUMENTARY PROPOSAL / 45 mins / 8th MAY / 6:30 PM
Among the various films made by the renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen, ‘BhuvanShome’ made in 1969, finance by the Indian Government, was a landmark film for its innovation and experimentation, setting the path for the Parallel Cinema movement in the country. In 2013, Films Division, a Government of India undertaking, decides to make a documentary film on Sen. Officials from the Films Division go to Sen’s house in Kolkata to officially propose a documentary on him. I go along with them.
SAA / 25 min / 8 MAY /7:45 PM
A man sings in the local train in Bombay. Man and woman dance celebrating the Holi festival in the village Salona, in Maharashtra. Ganesh festivals celebrations reach its peak on the streets of Bombay. An exploratory journey seeking one’s own rhythm, through the magnetic flux of rural and urban rhythms.
MERA GAON HAI MUMBAI/ 29 min / 8 MAY / 8:30 PM
Children lodged at the Government remand homes in Chennai, are brought there under various charges. Caught between the boundaries of the states and law, the remand home is a space-in-transit for many of these children. Some of them find their way back home, some find state adoption, but for many it is a journey to nowhere.
FACE LIKE A MAN / 30 min / 9 MAY / 6:30 PM
Nine painters – Tina, Juretzek, VasudhaThozur, Gieve Patel, Manu Parekh, V.Ramesh, Vashudev, Gargi, Raina, RekhaRodwitiya and Gerhard Schamhorst – with their preoccupations in an Artists camp, held in Chennai. The filmmaker with his own preoccupation strikes a relation.
HINDUSTAN HAMARA / 98 min / 9 MAY / 7:15 PM
This is a visual conversation between me and Anand Patwardhan. The film unfolds a range of poignant perspectives around Anand’s screening events and seems to raise primary questions in documentary film making and representational politics.
BRAHMA VISHNU SHIVA / 19 min / 10 MAY / 6:30 PM
The filmmaker persuades his Japanese sculptor friend, Toshkazu Kanai, to work with sand as the medium, near the waterfront on a beach. The waves lash. Children jump around. Fish gets caught. A balloon girl passes. A film happens, revealing the process of creation, substance and destruction, all happening at the same time.
MY CAMERA AND TSUNAMI / 90 min / 10 MAY / 7:15 PM
It is a memory of a camera which perished in the Tsunami, alongwith the final recorded footage on it. An elusive image, evoking multiple possibilities, seeking parallels and new perspectives.
In a barbaric incident on 27 Feb 2002, coach S6 of Sabermati Express was burnt at Godhra in Gujarat, India. Fifty nine people including several Karsevaks died in that fire. The film is an investigative documentation of the incident. It tries to find out what actually happened at Godhra railway station on that day and how far the allegation of a conspiracy is true.
This film is based on investigative documentation of encounters of Sameer Khan Pathan (22 October, 2002), Sadik Jamal (13 January, 2003), Ishrat Jahan and Javed Sheikh (15 June, 2004) and Sohrabuddin Sheikh (26 November, 2005), in Gujarat. Those killed were said to have been on a mission to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had allegedly organised the 2002 genocide of Muslims in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning incident. Film tries to find out the truth behind the stories propagated by the police and politics of encounters in Gujarat.
Documentary narrates stories of seven former terror accused, set free by various law courts across India. Mukhtar Ahmed, Md. Fassiuddin Ahmed, Umar Farooque, Moutasim Billah, Harith Ansari, Md. Musarrat Hussain ‘Bobby’’ and Shaikh Abdul Kaleem are among thousands of Muslim Youth arrested, falsely accused and then acquitted in terror cases. The film narrates their ordeal and misery, and sheds light on their current fight for survival.
This documentary illustrates the life threatening conditions faced by Indian defence lawyers appearing in terror related cases. In recent years, lawyers Shahid Azmi and Naushad Kashmiji were killed in two separate incidents. Documentary tries to find out whether the Indian establishment were the mastermind behind these killings. It also looks at these killings in the light of several incidents of beating and intimidation of defence lawyers around the country and tries to evaluate the tate of Indian legal system and its systemic incapability to deliver justice to the minorities.
Once known as city of love, Muzaffarnagar is now known for the riots that took place there in September 2013. The film investigates the politics of riots and its socio-political outfall. The film is like the novels of Tolstoy, which are characterized by numerous characters, plots and subplots woven together in a manner that while the main narrative surges forward, the smaller characters keep getting swept aside.
Saab’s body-of-work reimagines Beirut the city as a character, material and decaying, struggling to remain alive; she has her own history, her own myths, her own fantasies, and like everyone else who has ever lived, her life is nothing but a continuous resistance against oblivion. In Saab’s later What’s Going On (2009), the city (a girl, a metaphor for Beirut itself) performs her final dance around the ancient streets and terraces of Beirut, even as her lover struggles to preserve her memory in the pages of a book, therefore making her permanent and eternal, an object of history; in Once Upon a Time in Beirut, the old film-collector performs the same function. He saves the images of Beirut from the siege of a future that threatens to overrun it with great cruelty and callousness – it is nothing but a love story, and like all of Saab’s work, whether in photography or film, looks at Beirut through the eyes of a poet, hopeful but driven mad by one’s own romance and nostalgia. - Martin Brodsky
While the French missionaries want to teach them French and the religious fundamentalists want them to open the Koran, Tarek and Omar, instead pick up the camera—the super light Super 8 film camera that made home videos possible—and go about filming their people, their lives, their culture; and find a friend in May: a Christian refugee girl that has come to stay in West Beirut. There is only one problem: they live in West Beirut and the film would be developed in East Beirut, but it 1975, the year of the civil war that has divided the land into East Beirut and West Beirut, into Christians and Muslims. As the three cycle into the ‘other’s’ territory under the gaze of armed terrorists on terraces will they ever be able to come out? Not before they encounter a myth in real.
Autobiographical in part, West Beirut is the directorial debut of Ziad Doureiri, the Lebanese-born cinematographer, who is best known for his works in Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and many more. An artist who has worked in the East and the West, this film is a dialogue between the two regions, the two cultures, and the two ideologies; Tarek’s father tells the mother, ‘the West has never been able to understand the East’. -Gaurav Puri
Where Do We Go Now feels a bit more manufactured than Caramel. Labaki casts an entire village, but that doesn’t seem to enrich the film in any manner other than to expand it horizontally, in scale. Premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, it features Labaki in the lead role; as she tries to establish herself as being distinct from the rest of the characters. The central ideas, those of sectarian and religious issues and the resulting violence, however deserves a treatment more complex than the film presents. Its surface level pleasures are intact – the cinematography is rich, colour palettes are employed to establish the diversity of cultural identities present on screen, but the film seems to be in a rush to establish a conflict, and therefore, its resolution. Where Do We Go Now may indeed be a simplistic rendering of a complex situation – but it has at its heart, as in its title, an admirable inquiry.- Suraj Prasad
Labaki prepares a strong debut – a maturely crafted universe populated by various diverse identities, characters and people, who the director genuinely cares for, for she does not direct extensive attention to their emotional turbulence or their dire situations; instead managing to sustain a light-footed touch throughout with a disclaimer, ‘c’est la vie’. Life, as it is, devoid of overt performance or drama meant to solicit a reaction. One can only be thankful, for the film achieves it, even while revealing the rigid structures that impose themselves on the day-to-day lives of the women in the film. Labaki herself is the lead protagonist, the part of an extra-marital affair, but like her character, all the women yearn for love or company, though the cultural environment doesn’t let them vocalise their circumstance.- Suraj Prasad
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and Lightcube present Gutter Moons, a series of films that are activist – not because they pursue a strict, single code that all activist material must, but because in their very molecule of existence and the state of their being, these films, like Boudu, are fundamentally at loggerheads with the world around them. Their ‘activism’ is not therefore an agenda, as much as it is a trait; not as much as their instrument, as their very nature. The festival features titles like Harun Farocki’s The Inextinguishable Fire, Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45, Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ Statues Also Die, Masaki Kobayashi’s Harakiri and Djibril Diop Mambety’s Contras City. For details click the tab above.
Transmissions is LCFS’s flagship annual film festival of independent cinema from around the world. Sri Aurobindo Center for Arts and Communication will serve as the venue for the second edition. The festival, slated to take place from the 14th to 18th November 2013, will feature a section of features and short-features, an experimental film selection, student films and independent film classics shown in retrospect. Accompanying these will be panel discussions, video workshops, lectures, post-film discussions and opportunities for the cineaste to purchase film literature, film criticism magazines, posters and other such items at the venue.
For details scroll below, or click on ‘The Machine Age’ tab to your left.