IDSFFK 2017: From 3000 Nights to 1984, When the Sun Didn’t Rise — the five must-watch films
The Kerala Chalachitra Academy has reached a milestone by successfully opening its 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival Kerala (IDSFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram on 16 June 2017.
It is the perfect opportunity for cinephiles to catch up on world cinema. Keeping aside the disappointment of the three Indian films (March March March, In the Shade of Fallen Chinar, The Unbearable Being of Lightness) being denied permission for screening, the IDSFFK still has a lot to offer.
Here is a list of must-watch films:
1984, When the Sun Didn’t Rise/1984, Jin Din Suraj Ugya Nahi (India)
Director: Teenaa Kaur Pasricha
Teenaa Kaur captures on film, the harrowing experiences of women who survived the attack on the Sikh community in New Delhi, after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. By focusing on feminine experiences, this film has managed to give space to the most exploited and least heard voices, of the brave women who lost their husbands and sons in the tumult. The film partially funded by the Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Network and Documentary Fund and Leipiz International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film’s Fellowship.
The Letters/Las Letras (Mexico)
Director: Pablo Chavarria
This abstract documentary film with almost no dialogues follows the life of a social activist and school teacher who was falsely convicted for the killing of four police officers in a Mexican province. His story is told through the many letters he sends his children and friends from prison. The makers of this film attempt to call out on the corrupt police officials who ruin very many lives and the careers of innocent Mexicans.
Velvet Revolution (Cameroon, India, Philippines, UK, Bangladesh, USA)
Director: Nupur Basu
This film, produced by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television, features six women journalists from five different countries. The common thread which binds them all is the challenges faced and risks they took reporting grave human rights violations in conflict areas. This film also brings into the open, gender-based discrimination faced by women journalists across the world. It was reviewed positively after screenings at many international venues including Amnesty International, International Secretariat, London, on 10 May 2017.
The Journey to Her/Avalilekkulla Dooram (India)
Director: Abhijit Pulparambath
Photographer-turned-filmmaker Abhijit Pulparambath presents a glimpse of the life as lived by the transgender community in Kerala. In this documentary, Surya and Harini, the well-known transgender activists, discuss the discrimination and the nature of problems faced in their lives caused by their gender identity.
3000 Nights (Palestine, France, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, United Arab Emirates)
Director: Mai Masri
The Palastenian documentary filmmaker Mai Misri’s 3000 Nights unfolds the tale of a female political prisoner in Israrel’s Ramla reformatory in the 1980s. The story follows a newly-wed woman who experiences motherhood in jail and fights to raise her child by herself in the prison. Like all her films, this drama focuses on the hopes and aspirations kept alive by all Palestinians to return to their imagined homeland. According to Mai Masri, this is what keeps them together amidst the life-threatening situations caused by political unrest. 3000 Nights was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.