A celluloid feast
The Eighth International Film Festival of Kerala was a vibrant and colourful one. The selection of films screened was good and the people helpful, writes S. R. ASHOK KUMAR.
"Dance Like A Man"
IT WAS an interesting film festival withall the vibrant colours that was the impression one had after seeing some of the best films at the eighth International film festival of Kerala (IFFK). The competition section had some 18 films.
The festival also celebrated 75 years of Malayalam cinema and they had a separate section wherein one could see some of the classics like "Chemmeen", "Nirmalyam" and "Oppol".
`Made in India' is another section where in one was able to see "Abar Arannye" (Bengal), "Dance like a Man" (English- Kannada), "In the name of Buddha" (Tamil, English, Hindi and Sinhalese) and others. In the World Cinema section, there were the Austria-China film, "On the other side of the Bridge", Canada's "Fast Runner" and "Moving Malcolm", and from France it was "8 women".
The package included a short film section. This year, the focus was on China. Ms. Bina Paul Venugopal, deputy director of the festival, was always around extending help. The organiser of the festival, Chalachitra Academy chairman Rajeev Kumar, was equally resourceful. The opening film of the festival was "Encounter", directed by Omer Kavur. His earlier films "Blindfold" and "Desperate Road" had won awards. "Encounter" is a psychological drama wherein he believes that his son is not dead in spite of knowing he had passed away.
The competition section offered good fare. "Abouna" (Our Father) from Chad-France had a simple story of two boys who go in search of their `hero' father.
It got the best film award from the International Jury and also the Fipresci prize for its simple handling of the sons' search.
The other film, which was voted by the audiences, was "Osama" the well-known film by Siddiq Barmak. This Afghanistan-Ireland-Japan production showed the atrocities of the Taliban regime and how the people are the main targets.
There were two versions of "The Last Train". One from Russia and the other a co-production from Argentina-Spain-Uruguay.
"The Man Who Copied" is a Brazil production but the film speaks Portuguese. Director Jorge Furtado has used a xerox machine to tell the story of the first half and the second half has more or less the composition of a commercial film.
"Margam" directed by Rajiv Vijayaragavan got the special mention of the Fipresci award for its simple way of telling two stories in one attempt. Nedumudi Venu, a father of the two children, was a Leftist before he got married. The film starts off with Venu in his apartment, brooding over the past.
As a veteran artiste, Nedumudi Venu has done the role in a mature way and he has a beautiful daughter in Meera Krishna.
Both of them are the main characters of the film. Meera Krishna gives a stunning but sedate performance.
Director Manish Jha has done a powerful film, which will certainly make the audience think about it, but will it pass the Indian censors? This is a million dollar question. "Mathrubhoomi- A Nation without Women" is an unusual concept, handled in a way not very soft. Female infanticide is the theme of the story if women are extinct as a species what will happen to man and how will he survive?
The story of the filmis unbelievable, but the director tells it in a daring way. It was one of the most talked about films at the festival.
"Nizhalkuthu" is about a hangman who has to hang his own son-in law.
The sharpness of the master storyteller, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, seems to be missing.
Send this article to Friends by