Anand Patwardhan’s Reasons earns top honour at International Documentary Festival (IDFA) in Amsterdam
Anand Patwardhan’s Reasons won the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary edging out Bettina Perut and Iván Osnivikoff's Los Reyes.
Following its world premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2018), Anand Patwardhan’s latest documentary Reason won the top honour at the International Documentary Festival (IDFA) in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
Making significant global inroads on the back of a mounting buzz, the 261-minute-long film — about how India has slid away from a secular democracy to a religiously divided one — won the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary edging out Bettina Perut and Iván Osnivikoff's Los Reyes, which was awarded the Special Jury Award.
Variety reports IDFA jury members praised Reasons for its "epic storytelling of the rise of the far right in one of the most populated countries of this planet … in a way that acknowledges the complexity of the situation but puts it in a very understandable shape."
Neatly divided into eight chapters, the film opens with an exploration of the work of anti-caste activist Govind Pansare and famed rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who fought against what he called "blind belief" and was later assassinated. Later chapters examine the Dalit struggle, the roots of terrorism and how outrage fuelled by religious extremism often ends with mob violence.
Patwardhan, with the aid of interviews, archive sequences and fresh footage, provides context to India's descent with its saffron invasion.
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