PIFF 2018: French short By Blood, National Award-winner Reservation among films to watch on Day 2
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
The Pondicherry International Film Festival kicked off on 26 September with the screening of acclaimed works such as To Let, Foot Thrill and Cry Humanity. The line-up for the five-day event features a vibrant mix of films ranging from comedies, thrillers and horrors to cinema concern the social and economic struggles of every day.
With the first day of the PIFF well underway, here are our picks for Day 2 — 27 September — which promises to be an interesting affair packed with features, shorts and documentaries.
One Fine Day (2018): Living in a world of incessant woes and worries gets tough and every now and then, we all need a fairy tale to give ourselves a hearty cheer. Vibin MR's short is one such fairy tale of a young rag picker who discovers a treasure chest while on his usual route which alters the boy and his sister's life. Unlike Pandora's box, the treasure is a harbinger of joy and this Tamil film promises to be a happy and soulful story of the two siblings. One Fine Day has previously been screened at several film festivals across India.
Par Le Sang (By Blood) (2018): Once a ruthless warrior and years later a dying old man waiting for death, Guillaume Enard and Jonathan Delerue — inspired by the Dark Ages — weave the story of Mort-Lieu, a warlord who looks back upon the bloodshed of his time taking count of what exactly he had accomplished in his life. He gears up for his final battle with a mysterious knight who he believes is the Reaper coming for his life. The French work Par Le Sang was screened at the Redline International Film Festival in Toronto and bagged the award for Best Supporting Actress at the event. It was also screened at the Berlin Short Film Festival in 2018.
La Tete Haute (Standing Tall) (2015): This French feature is a part of the special screening segment at the PIFF that honours the work of women directors in cinema. Emmanuelle Bercot's work revolves around Malony, a young boy who often finds himself in juvenile court after being abandoned by his mother. But a judge and a caseworker are certain that they can help Malony find his way. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and went on to win the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Most Promising Actor at the 41st Ceasar Awards.
Reservation (2017): We have all had a taste of Irrfan Khan's wit and comedy in a film in which he struggles to get his child admitted to an English medium school. But Nikhil Manju's Kannada feature Reservation is a somber reflection of the misuse of systems which are put in place for empowering the deprived. A Brahmin family lies their way into admitting their child to an English school in this film which won the National Award for Best Feature in a Regional Language. It is a must watch for understanding the intricacies involved in the reservation process and how it can be manipulated for one's self-interest. It also highlights the challenges involved in the admission process of elementary and middle schools.
Burkinabè Rising: The Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso (2017): Resistance and political change need not always go hand in hand with violence and death. Burkinabè Rising is a must watch for every individual out there resisting injustice. Created by Cultures of Resistance Films, the documentary captures the lives of people in West Africa's Burkina Faso who have embarked upon a nonviolent resistance movement. Their weapon? Art. The revolutionary spirit of this French-speaking populace is expressed through music, films, ecology, visual art and architecture. Iara Lee paints a picture of this community that fought and overthrew the autocratic rule of Blaise Compaoré who is believed to have assassinated his friend and the former president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. It is his spirit that the revolutionary people of the country are carrying forward, in their effort to bring about reform through art.
Winter in Lviv (2018): In a country suffering from economic crisis and armed conflict, four women struggle to make ends meet in the city of Lviv. A 75-year-old nurse, a pensioner who collects scraps of paper for extra money, a nearly 100-year-old woman who has survived two concentration camps and a mother who loses her son on the fronts of Eastern Ukraine are the subjects of this documentary directed by Till Mayer and Pirmin Styrnol. A black and white production, this not-for-profit film was edited voluntarily by the team and was shot in the winter months of 2016 and 2017.
Ahare Mon (Lonely Hearts) (2018): Starring Adil Hussain, the brand ambassador of the Pondicherry International Film Festival, Ahare Mon is an inter-connected romantic drama. The short film is about people who are otherwise forbidden to fall in love with each other and includes a delightful mix of an elderly couple in an old age home, a girl suffering from a terminal disease, a couple of con artists and an immigration officer at the airport. Pratim D Gupta's Bengali work follows the success of his previous film Maacher Jhol.
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