Return To The Classics: IndiEarth On Screen
“Is it freedom to starve and go naked?” a young Indian man says to the camera, expressing cynicism and bitterness at the uncertain future of his nation, post independence. It is this tone of doubt that was relatively new for an officially commissioned film within the scope of the Indian documentary, that veteran filmmaker S.N.S. Sastry incorporated in his highly acclaimed film I Am 20.
As one of Films Division’s most celebrated camera people and filmmakers, with a fiercely experimental approach to his work, S.N.S. Sastry holds a position of reverence within India’s documentary filmmaking community. Two of his films – I Am 20 and And I Make Short Films, will be screened at the upcoming IndiEarth OnScreen happening in three cities across the country this Thursday, June 19th.
I Am 20 follows the veteran filmmaker’s travels all across the country, precisely twenty years after India’s independence, interviewing the nation’s youth about what freedom means to them. The film documents the voices of those born in 1947 — the youth of a nation that is just as young as them. Covering a vast cross-section of the country’s population from various economic and social backgrounds, the film is as relevant today as a documentation of the country’s opinions on democracy, as it was at the time it was shot. Though he had made many films before, it was I Am 20 that first made a mark.
In And I Make Short Films – filmed with an abstract experimental approach that is classically Sastry – the filmmaker toys with the very conventions of documentary film, raising questions about censorship in the country and the role of the documentary filmmaker as prescribed by the state.
Coexisting with these archival classics will be the works of other reputed directors, as well as of upcoming talent. Gajanan Jagirdar’s A Dream Takes Wings is a rare film documenting the evolution of Indian cinema; Rajdip Ray’s Keu Eshe Bolechilo explores a photographer’s relationship with the city of Calcutta; while Madhan Khodees’s Karma Vinai tells the story of two drunk friends who encounter a couple at a bus stand at the stroke of midnight.
A colourful selection of films showcasing a diverse blend of Indian independent film – this evening is not to be missed. For more details, take a look at the Event Facebook page here.
Date: 19th June – Thursday | Venue: Alliance Francaise of Madras, 24, College Rd, Nungambakkam, Chennai | Time: 8pm
Date: 19th June – Thursday | Venue: The Humming Tree, 12th Main Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore | Time: 8pm
Date: 19th June – Thursday | Venue: The Hive, 50 A Huma Mansion, Chuim Village Road, Khar West, Mumbai | Time: 8pm
Film 1: A Dream Takes Wings | Filmmaker: Gajanan Jagirdar | 1970 | 16 min | History
Film 2: I Am 20 | Filmmaker: SNS Sastry | 1967 | 18 min | Society
Film 3: And I Make Short Films | Filmmaker: SNS Sastry | 1968 | 16 min | Cinema
Film 4: Keu Eshe Bolechilo | Filmmaker: Rajdip Ray | Bengali (English Subs) | 2013 | 22 min | Drama
Film 5: Karma Vinai | Filmmaker: Madhan Kodees | Tamil (English subs) |2014 | 12 min | Social Message