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A documentary on students and politics

P. Oppili

The film tries to project conflicts in a civil society across two countries



CROSS-CULTURAL EXPERIMENT: Leena Manimekalai in the sets of the documentary `Connecting Lines'

CHENNAI: A cross-cultural documentary film on student politics in Germany and India, directed by Leena Manimekalai, was recently screened at the Alliance Francaise, Chennai.

The documentary titled `Connecting Lines', addresses the conflict stirred up due to recent introduction of student fees and elite studies in Germany in comparison to the already flourishing privatisation and elitism in Indian education system.

The documentary weaves through the student lives of four protagonists, two each in India and Germany.

Core concept

Leena Manimekalai says the core concept of the project is `conflict - resolution'.

The documentary was trying to project conflicts in a civil society across two countries and two cultures.

As the documentary was produced under the European Union Cross Cultural Fellowship, Ms. Leena worked with Michaela Kloiber, a German filmmaker, across six months. While Ms. Leena shot her portion in the city, Ms. Kloiber shot her part in Munich.

Ms. Leena said they confined themselves to their heartland, as they were aware of the problems in their native place.

The directors, instead of just talking about the cross-country conflicts, also indicated some solutions to the problems posed. The documentary-making exercise had helped her to learn Germany's filmmaking culture, which she says, is totally different from that here.

Her next documentary, `Waves After Waves', which talks about how art forms magically rejuvenate the lives of children, disrupted by tsunami that hit the Tamil Nadu coast last year.

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