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Interesting Swiss mix

A scene from the film, "Brucio Nel Vento".

A SEVEN-day long Swiss Film Festival is currently on at Chennai (Dec1-7). It has been jointly organised by the Embassy of Switzerland, New Delhi, Federation of Film Societies of India (Northern Region) and The Madras Film Society.

This is the first time such a film festival has been organised in India with the common theme `Blurring Boundaries'.

The Festival has already been held at New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. From Chennai it will move to Thiruvananthapuram.

The screenings are being held daily at 6.15 p.m. at the South Indian Film Chamber Theatre.

A package of five feature movies, four short feature movies, and five documentaries and a collection of 15 short animation movies have been put together making it all an interesting mix.

"Zakir And His Friends"... an interesting documentary.

The feature films include "Azzurro" (2000, Winner of many awards), "Brucio Nel Vento" (2002, award winner), "Stille Liebe" (2001, award winner) and "Utopia Blues" (2001, award winner).

Among the documentaries two deserve mention. One is "The Knowledge of Healing" (1996). This first film was on Tibetan System of Medicine and is considered as one of the world's most highly developed holistic approach to medicine.

It is based on treatment with herbs, roots and minerals. Tibetans have moresuccessful than the West in treating certain chronic and serious illnesses.

The other interesting documentary is "Zakir And His Friends" (1997). It is a portrait of the internationally known Indian tabla player, Zakir Hussain, who has been described as `musician without frontiers'.

This film introduces the viewer to the worlds of sound and image, music and film balancing each with precision and without compromise, bringing it to a new pitch of perfection. The film is a musical journey through India, Indonesia, California, Venezuela, Trinidad and other places featuring the most incredible drummers and percussionists in the world.

In spite of the film society movement, in Tamil Nadu it remains confined to a minority segment of moviegoers. It is high time that such movies were screened at cinemas for the general public at affordable prices.


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