INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL
The 2017 Indian Film festival launched in Melbourne on 10 August and runs there until the 22 August. It is screening in Sydney from August 18 to 20 at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter in the eastern suburbs and at Hoyts Blacktown in the west.
The festival guarantees the latest films from the sub-continent and includes many highlights of the past year’s productions. It’s an eclectic mix, with films not just in Hindi and English but also Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali and Gujarati, reflecting India’s vast array of cultures and languages.
Strongly recommended are three titles that deal with a society that is oppressive to females:
Doctor Rakhmabai, directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, is based on the true story of one of the first practising female doctors in colonial India. Married at the age of 11, Rakhmabai refused to move in with her husband, choosing to remain in the home of her mother and her supportive step-father. This led to a series of important court cases about child marriage and the rights of women. Tannishtha Chatterjee's performance is highly commendable but unfortunately the European support cast does not hold up to her standard as it appears to consist mostly of amateur actors. However, this is a fascinating depiction of Indian women's history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
Anatomy Of Violence, directed by Deepa Mehta, is unbelievably unsettling. Mehta gathered a group of male actors to collaborate in presenting a fictional dramatisation of the lives of the gang of rapists who violated a woman and her partner on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012. The men's performances are extraordinary. The subsequent court cases and public debate ignited the nation as the rights of women came under scrutiny and the powers-that-be completely misjudged the mood of the people;
Lipstick Under My Burkha, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, was initially banned in India. Filmed in Bhopal, this is a highly original script that bravely breaks down the boundaries of Indian society. The film follows four women from both Hindu and Muslim backgrounds, who lead double lives 'sticking their finger up' at the suffocating conventions, and the men, that rule their lives. It's unlike any Indian film you've seen before.
CLICK - Full details of the Sydney Festival can be found here. Melbourne details here.
STOP PRESS: Festival-goers were at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter for opening night on 18 August 2017 to meet Tannishtha Chatterjee, star of Doctor Rakhmabai, pictured here with the festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange.