PIFF 2018: Animated political drama The Ditch, Sil Ritesh's Kathputli among films to watch on Day 4
Day 4 of PIFF features a variety of films from countries across the world — including Australia, Tunisia and Norway
So far, the first edition of the Pondicherry International Film Festival With has featured award-winning works such as Reservation and What Will People Say, along with documentaries like Burkinabe Rising, which have been screened at Alliance Francaise de Pondicherry. As Day 3 of the festival draws to a close, here is a look at some of the screenings that must be attended on 29 September.
Count Your Curses (2017): In a town created by Belgian director Lorène Yavo, supernatural beings are just a part of life. All is well in this land where humans and spirits co-exist until overnight, an unknown creature devours the house ghost of two roommates. Their house must have a spirit, so they go out in search of one that will be a good replacement, but the mystery remains unsolved: Who was the pest that infected their house and killed the spirit?
Areka (The Ditch) (2017): A collaboration of nearly 20 artists, this animation project is rooted in the Basque culture, a community straddling the border between France and Spain. The collaboration, Atxur Animazio Taldea, explores the story of a land in which repression and dictatorship ended long ago, but Euxebi, a girl whose father was shot by a firing squad, has to wait 80 years to discover where his body had been buried. The Ditch reconciles a region and culture that is far removed from the mainstream with the aftermath of a totalitarian regime.
Meanwhile In Tunisia (2017): Inès Khannoussi grew up in Austria. Half-Tunisian, it was her desire to trace her roots and look beyond the social and political identity of Tunisia to discover the lives of its people. This documentary is her journey through her second home, filled with her conversations with the Tunisians she met along the way. "With a simple beard like this, you are already a terrorist," a man says to Khannoussi as she chats with him over a game of chess. This Tunisian-Austrian work has previously been screened at the 2nd Buddha International Film Festival, Pune and the 1st Linz International Short Film Festival in Linz, Austria.
I Am Free (2017): What happens when a family member goes missing? Do you mourn his death or wait for his return? I Am Free, a documentary by Edvard Karijord and Bendik Mondal, poses this question through the story of the Karijords. The disappearance of Geir Karijord in the Romsdal Valley of Norway on 8 October, 2013 put the parents and siblings of this boy into a dilemma. It tells the story of how they hoped against hope that he would return, and yet came to terms with the possibility that he might never come home. It features intimate accounts of this family, of the hope, the loss and the burden of living with unanswered questions. For all of us in search of answers, coping with the pain of unbearable grief, this family's narrative is but a reflection of these tragedies.
Kathputli (Threads of Fate) (2017): Kathputli, which dwells on the impact of child marriage, is a story about three people caught in a web of frail human sensitivities. Married off at a young age to a much older man, the protagonist has a rather dull life in a village of Rajasthan until she meets her stepson. As he is closer to her age, she finds herself getting attracted to this man who is a breath of fresh air in her otherwise unexciting life. Trapped in a complex situation, her mind wanders and at last settles on such an object whose pursuit could result in further disaster.
The Knife Salesman (2016): Set in a small, heat-drenched town of Australia, this short thriller follows a travelling knife salesman, one who goes door to door sharpening blades, into the house of Mary, a frustrated housewife. Her children keep watching this duo as they settle into eerily familiar roles. As blade grinds on stone, the feeling that something terrible is about to happen washes over the viewer. The film has previously been screened at the 74th Venice Film Festival and the 2nd Buddha International Film Festival, Pune.
Crache Coeur (Raging Rose) (2015): This drama set in France is part of the special screenings category of the PIFF, a platform created to honour the works of women who have achieved incredible success in cinema. Crache Couer is the story of Jozef, a Polish man in his 50s who starts working at a construction site and asks his employer's daughter Rose, to help him deliver a letter to his son. Abandoned 15 years ago, Jozef's son Roman turns out to be Rose's classmate. But when Rose falls in love with Roman, it complicates matters as she starts using information about him to her own benefit. Directed by Julia Kowalski, this dense, coming-of-age film is an engrossing experience with some spectacular performances.
Adil Hussain ends association as brand ambassador of Pondicherry International Film Festival ahead of second edition
Festival director Saibal Chatterjee, advisors Utpal Borpujari and Sanjay Sarma have also withdrawn their association with the festival ahead of its second edition.
The second day of the PIFF is a somber affair with two films, Winter in Lviv and Reservation discussing social struggles as a result of war and policy respectively
A documentary on Ray's Feluda and Girl Fact, a short on a teenager's survival guide to sex slavery, will be screened on Day 5 of PIFF