PIFF 2018: Documentary on Satyajit Ray's Feluda, A Thousand Kisses among films to watch on Day 5
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
The first edition of the Pondicherry International Film Festival comes to an end on 30 September, 2018. Thus far, the screening of French films made by veteran female directors, an interesting line-up consisting of Indian and international picks, and discussions with directors have been the highlights of the festival.
Here is a list of screenings that cannot be missed on the last day:
K´Altik Zapatista (2017): K'Altik in a Central American indigenous language means milpa (a cornfield), a traditional crop system in which several plant species are cultivated together in such a way that they nourish each other. The title of this documentary thus symbolises the seeds of struggle sown in a Mexican state called Chiapas nearly 22 years ago when the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) rose to power. This Spanish film highlights how this group has served as an inspiration till date for various struggles that have been undertaken since. This documentary by Cucho Ramirez explores the lives and culture of the Chiapas.
Isolated Crows of Solitude (2017): In a totalitarian regime, you are always being watched. Having your own ideas and cultivating your own identity are idealistic goals in a dystopian world. In Tehran-based director Sahar Soleimani's short, a dictatorship demands that citizens keep a log of everything that happens to them through the day. If they rebel, they are cured using a special 'mask.' Isolation is the basis for the power of this rule, and the protagonist Reza is one among many trapped in this solitary existence. Like The Handmaid's Tale and Animal Farm, this film also highlights the repressive policies enacted by a dictatorial regime.
A Thousand Kisses (2018): In 1933, the Nazi regime in Germany separates a Jewish couple which makes vague plans to reunite on the safe shores of Brazil. Richard Goldgewicht's animated work A Thousand Kisses was born out of the letters exchanged by two war-torn lovers in Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. It is a love story caught in the era of the Holocaust and brims with the poetry of real life. The film is a creative collaboration of artists working in Brazil, the United States, Ireland and Uruguay. The letters were in fact discovered by the couple's grandsons 80 years later in São Paulo. The film has previously been screened at the third Vienna Independent Film Festival and the first Linz International Short Film Festival.
Girl Fact (2017): Rape is being used as a weapon for the last 15 years in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country in Central Africa. Sex slavery and trade are instruments of war in this region. Today, voices are vociferously fighting against exploitation and sexual abuse, yet some continue to violate the dignity of women. In Maël G. Lagadec's work, the protagonist writes a teenager's guide to survive sex slavery that could apply to any girl the world over, caught in this terrifying situation. Angela Monteiro, one of the protagonists in the film, bagged the Best Actress Award for her role at the seventh Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival.
My Son is Gay (2018): In Lokesh Kumar's My Son is Gay, a simple mother and no-nonsense school principal disowns her son when he comes out of the closet. Having once shared a loving relationship with him, the loss of her son hits her hard and eventually she sets out to reconcile. In a country where many households today are coming to terms with their children being queer, Kumar's film creates a poignant narrative of the conflict between acceptance and ignorance. The film ran as part of the ninth edition of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival.
Feluda – 50 Years of RAY's Detective (2017): This documentary by Sagnik Chatterjee celebrates Satyajit Ray's literary genius and follows Feluda to Varanasi, Mumbai, Kolkata and London. This film is a glimpse into the writer and illustrator of Feluda, and is a must-watch for all Satyajit Ray aficionados.
Teen Aur Adha (Three and a Half) (2018): The Pondicherry International Film Festival will draw to a close with the screening of Dar Gai's work Teen Aur Adha, the story of one house through three different eras. Once a home of a pre-pubescent boy and his grandfather, 20 later a brothel, and another 30 years later, the house of a loving 75-year-old couple, its walls bear witness to the stories of people who have lived there over the years. Shot in three long takes and one half-take, the film shows the ups and downs of many lives through the eyes and ears of these silent walls. Teen Aur Adha has previously been screened at the London Indian Film Festival.
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