List of Films

The Bond (Naata)
Dir - K P Jayasankar and A Monteiro
Bombay/India, 2003 (45 min)

Naata is about Bhau Korde and Waqar Khan, two friends who work on conflict resolution and communal amity initiatives between the different communities in Dharavi, reputedly, the largest “slum” in Asia. Naata is the second in a series of films on the people and city of Mumbai, and is a sequel to Saacha (The Loom), 2001. [more info]

Development Flows from
the Barrel of the Gun
(Vikas Bandook Ki Naal Se)

Dir-Biju Toppo and Meghnath
India, 2003 (54 min)

The film gives voice to people affected by development projects—and repressed by the state for speaking out. The film asks why most of these incidents have taken place in areas where indigenous Adivasi people are majorities, and leaves us to ask why, in the age of globalization, the state has turned from protector to predator. [more info]

Don't Ask Why
Dir - Sabiha Sumar
Pakistan, 2003 (58 min)

At 17, Anousheh is at an age where daughters are usually married off, but she wants to study and refuses to accept the restrictions her religion and culture have imposed on her. It causes conflict with her mother and lengthy discussions with her father. This film follows Anousheh as she struggles to realise her dreams and cope with her share of disappointment.
[more info: SF + S. Bay]

The 18th Elephant
3 Monologues

Dir - P. Balan
Kerala/India, 2003 (62 min)

This film is a critique of modern man’s mercenary attitude towards nature and his anthropocentric conception of development. The sad plight of the elephant in both its wild and domesticated states exposes how such behavior brings death and wreaks havoc on the lives and habitats of other species. [more info]

The Fire Within (Buru Sengal)
Dir - Shriprakash
Jharkhand/India, 2002 (57 min)

The land of the Tana Bhagats in Jharkhand, India, a peaceful sect of the Oraon tribe who follow a Gandhian lifestyle and philosophy, is today besieged by Naxalite violence. The film touches upon corruption, the mafia, energy politics and displacement of villages, and tribal identity in an area where coal has been mined for the last 150 years. [more info]

For a Place Under the Heavens
Dir - Sabiha Sumar
Pakistan, 2003 (53 min)

This film traces traces the relationship of Islam to the state in an effort to understand how women are coping with and surviving the increasing religiosity of civil and political life in their country. Juxtaposing interviews with Pakistani women who have chosen to veil themselves, even in the absence of any state directive to do so, with observations from their feminist colleagues who cling to hope for a more secular system, Sumar dramatically captures the tension between liberal and fundamentalist forces that are shaping life in contemporary Pakistan.
[more info]

Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail
Dir - Shubradeep Chakravorty
Gujarat/India, 2003 (60 min)

The film investigates the Godhra train burning and subsequent rioting that killed 3,500 Muslims in Gujarat, India in February, 2002. It retraces the route of the first batch of karsevaks from Gujarat to Ayodhya (where Hindu fundamentalists want to build a Ram temple) and back, and documents the terror they unleashed en route, and the incident at Godhra railway station. [more info]

History for Winners
(Itihaas Jitneharuka Laagi)

Dir - Pranay Limbu
Nepal, 2003 (55 min)

An award-winning singer makes a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to make a comeback after being in musical hibernation for seven years. Itihaas Jitneharuka Laagi portrays the changes in the Nepali music scene, as represented by Kuber Rai and Dhiraj Rai. The two singers are a study in contrasts, with their diametrically opposing personalities and attitude towards music. [more info]

Hunting Down Water
Dir - Sanjaya Barnela and Vasant Saberwal
India, 2003 (32 min)

India’s present water crisis is of its own making. The patterns of water use are changing, with increased cultivation of water-intensive cash crops. But there are other changes that defy logic, such as the growing number of private swimming pools in cities, rain dances and water amusement parks. As a consequence more and more of the rural poor are now forced to migrate. [more info]

Made in India
Dir - Madhusree Dutta
India, 2002 (39 min)

A rural artist paints her autobiography, images of Bollywood movie icons are erased after a week-long run of their films, the national flag flutters on 150 kites, installation artists paint pop icons on the rolling shutters of shops. Symbols of nationalism become a fashionable commodity. Made in India is about contemporary visual cultures in India. [more info]

A Night of Prophecy
Dir - Amar Kanwar
India, 2002 (77 min)

A Night of Prophecy was filmed in several diverse regions of India (Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Kashmir) and features music and poetry of tragedy and protest performed by regional artists. The sources of anger and sorrow vary from inescapable, caste-bound poverty to the loss of loved ones as a result of tribal and religious fighting. The footage is a stunning glimpse of India’s diverse ethnic groups and topography from the rural mountains to its crowded urban centers. [more info: SF + S. Bay]

Resilient Rhythms
Dir - Gopal Menon
India, 2002 (64 min)

India’s caste system places nearly 160 million people, the dalits, at the outskirts of society. It exploits their services but at the same time denies them acceptance as human beings. Resilient Rhythms deals with a range of dalit responses to their marginalization, from armed struggle to electoral politics. [more info]

Sand and Water
Dir - Shaheen Dill-Riaz
Bangladesh, 2002 (105 min)

The middle section of the Jamuna, one of the three main rivers in Bangladesh, is called “the deadly paradise”. Sand and Water shows how the people of the islands here live in the most extreme natural conditions and cope with the “moods” of Jamuna, which also provides them with their livelihood and fertile islands. [more info]

Skin Deep
Dir - Reena Mohan
India, 1998 (83 min)

Skin Deep is an exploration of body images and self perception among contemporary urban, middle class women in India. The film traces the dynamics of the eternal search for the ideal femininity and how it permeates the self-image of contemporary women. It is a playful, engrossing and articulate film on women's complicated and contradictory relationships with their bodies. [more info: SF + S. Bay]

Swara - A Bridge over Troubled Water
Dir- Samar Minallah
Pakistan, 2003 (40 min)

Swara examines and comments on the Pakhtun practice, in northwest Pakistan, of giving minor girls in marriage as reparation for serious crimes such as murder committed by their fathers, brother, or uncles. [more info]

Tale of the Darkest Night
(Shei Rater Kotha Bolte Eshechi)

Dir - Kawsar Chowdhury
Bangladesh, 2001 (43 min)

The film tells the story of the killings by the Pakistani army in Dhaka University. Surviving members and witnesses speak, and bring alive the havoc of that night. The documentary also includes the wireless messages the Pakistani army exchanged that night. [more info]

The Unconscious
Dir - Manisha Dwivedi
Maharastra/India 2003 (19 min)

This film is a journey with men who call themselves kothi. They are men for their families and society, but for themselves they are women, and wives of other “macho” men. They walk two tightropes, both of fear and disgrace of and for their families and ‘husbands’. And yet, they celebrate womanhood in their world of disguises. [more info]

Voices of Dissent
Dir - NoorKhan S. Bawa
Pakistan, 1999 (22 min)

This film explores the passion of dance within a number of contemporary Pakistani contexts and the personalities that pursue it: a classically trained kathak dancer who, as a woman, has been forbidden by the Pakistani government to perform her craft on stage; a male kathak dancer ridiculed for pursuing a traditionally female dance form; a popular film actress who embodies the commercialization of what was once a sacred; and a mullah speaking for the fundamentalist position. [more info]

Words of Freedom
(Muktir Kotha)

Dir - Tareque & Catherine Masud
Bangladesh, 1999 (80 min)

This film is about a group of young men and women who begin traversing the far corners of Bangladesh to show Muktir Gaan, a documentary on the Bangladesh Liberation War, and how it rekindled the painful memories of ordinary people, and prompted them to speak of the dreams they once had for their country. It is a testament to the struggle still raging in the countryside, a struggle for a more just and democratic society - this was the dream of the liberation. [more info]

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