Indiagraphy

India. Incredible India, to many! Unbelievable India, to a few! But India remains an ethnological enigma to filmmakers not only from the perspective of length and breadth but also from the sheer diversity of more than one billion people who live there. 

The ethnological diversity of the country that stretches from the picturesque mountains in the north to the luminous blue seas in the south and from the desert lands in the west to include the wettest part on the Earth in the northeast presents a landscape that film connoisseurs from across the world would find hard to resist. Couple this with the fact that India is home to one of the largest pool of human resources to the world and one can understand why this Special Programme comprising selected films on the ethnography of Indian diaspora would be hard to let go even by the hardest cynics.

A word about the making of this programme. It has taken years of correspondence and exchange of emails (coupled with government procedures but that is another story) to put this together for a few hours of sheer viewing and listening pleasure and learning. It has also taken the combined efforts of several filmmakers who have spent from their own pockets so that their films could be exhibited to an international audience. 

This programme is expected to whet the appetite for more such ethnological films from the Indian sub-continent region. Bon appétit!

Curated by Sujoy Bosu

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Death in the village

2016, 142’

DIRECTOR AND CINEMATOGRAPHER

Renu Savant

PRODUCED BY

School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

 

Documenting time: a political study of a village, where the very act of researching is constantly put into relief – trying to find an impersonal subjectivity.

 

Footwear

2006, 73’

DIRECTOR

Amudhan R. P.

CINEMATOGRAPHER 

Amudhan R. P.

EDITED BY

Amudhan R. P.

SOUND

Amudhan R. P.

PRODUCED BY

Marupakkam

 

The Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram, traditional shoemakers, grow increasingly assailed between caste discrimination and competition from the shoe manufacturing industry.

 

Have you seen the Arana?

2012, 73’

DIRECTOR

Sunanda Bhat.

 

 

The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and livelihoods.

 

Mahua – Memoirs

2007, 82’

DIRECTOR

Vinod Raja

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Vinod Raja, Vishwanath B. R.

EDITED BY 

Atul Gupta

SOUND

Harikumar Pillai, Jayanth Pradhan

PRODUCED BY

Equations, Grassroots Media

 

When a nation begins to grow rapidly at over nine percent, what does this mean for eight percent of people, the indigenous, who remain unseen and unheard?

 

Notes on Man Capture

2007, 43’

DIRECTOR

Nandini Bedi

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Nandini Bedi

EDITED BY

Nandini Bedi, Farshad Aria

SOUND

Nandini Bedi, Mohandas

PRODUCED BY

Chitra Katha Productions

 

 

In South Asia, men take most of the important decisions, even about women's lives. Ratmi, a young, single mother in a village in the Garo Hills wants to get married. Among her people, marriage happens by 'man capture'. Her male relatives attempt to capture a man for her although she has had lovers. The narrative observes the players behind Ratmi's marriage in 2000/2001 and again in 2006, and captures how decision-making shifts back and forth from woman to man, individual to group, 'insider' to 'outsider'. Humour, ease with the subject of sex and roots in a matrilineal society reveal an unusual people of India.

 

Out of thin air

2009, 49’

DIRECTOR

Samreen Farooqui

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Samreen Farooqui, Shabani Hassanwalia

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Ashhar Farooqui

EDITED BY

Samreen Farooqui, Shabani Hassanwalia

SUPPORTED BY

India Foundation for the Arts and Sir Ratan Tata Trust Draw-Down Fund

 

The story of Ladakh, not through the postcards that tourists often see, but through an underground, local film movement, which has become a voice of the people.

 

They who walked mountains

2002, 34’

DIRECTOR

Manju Kak

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Chokalingam

EDITED BY

Ankush Gupta, Rakesh Andania

SOUND

Subhash

PRODUCED BY

Manju Kak

 

The Bhotias, an ancient trading community of the Himalayas.

 

Death Life Etc.

2008, 81’

DIRECTED BY

Arghya Basu

 

A chronicle of the passage of seasons over scattered habitations tucked amidst Himalayan frontiers between India and Tibet, mapped by historic facts and fantastic tales.

 

Born At Home
62’ 2000

PRODUCED BY

Janet Chawla, Matrika and Sublunar Films

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Rita Banerji

Additional CINEMATOGRAPHER

Sameera Jain

EDITED BY

Monica Bhasin

SOUND

Asheesh Pandya

Additional sound

Rita Banerji, Sameera Jain

Music

Susmit Sen

 

Born at Homeobserves indigenous birth practices and practitioners in some parts of India – rural Rajasthan, Bihar, and an urban working-class area of Delhi. Poised between social reality and the eternal mystery of childbearing, the film presents an intricate delineation of the figure of the dai (midwife), who is almost always a low-caste, poor woman. The dais' methods are holistic, conceiving of childbirth not as pathology but continuation of organic life. Dais handle about 50% of the births in India. Their inherited skills, though accessible and low-cost, are continually devalued by the mainstream. The film poses a critical question: why does the state not recognise the almost one million traditional practitioners in the country?