Mani Kaul – Nazar AKA The Gaze (1990)

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SYNOPSIS
From the back of the case:
After his wife’s death, the husband recalls their first meeting and marriage. She was much younger than him. She used to pawn some things to an antique shop to make a little money. The husband is increasingly intrigued by her mindset. As things develop, he finds out that she was an orphan living with two aunts. The film explores their complex life in a manner unusual for Indian cinema. Continue reading

K.M. Madhusudhanan – Bioscope (2008)

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SYNOPSIS
From the back of the case:
The film Bioscope is set in the second decade of the 20th century. The film unfolds in the backdrop of cinema making its appearance in Kerala.

The protagonist Diwakaran’s new journey begins with his acquisition of a bioscope from the Frenchman DuPont, who organizes bioscope shows on the coasts of Tamil Nadu. He returns home and starts conducting bioscope shows in his village. The villagers welcome the new images with innocence. Yet, some suspect that the bioscope box has ghosts of the British hidden in it. Continue reading

Govindan Aravindan – Oridathu AKA And Then There Was a Village (1986)

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Synopsis:
Set in a remote part of Travancore-Cochin, Oridathu tells the story of a village where electricity arrives for the first time. The villagers find this modern innovation as a threat to their natural way of life, accustomed to more earthy resources of energy. The film depicts the narrow mindedness and hypocrisies of village lives with humour. The film reaches a conclusion that life is better without electricity and also condemns cinema as a legitimate means of expression. Continue reading

Mani Kaul – Uski Roti AKA Our Daily Bread (1970)

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SYNOPSIS
From the back of the case:
A desolate bus-stop on a highway… figure of a village woman – Balo, waiting to deliver a meal to Sucha Singh, the husband, a bus driver. He expects the traditional duties of an average Indian rural wife. Balo in turn accepts her husband’s independent lifestyle. Balo hurries to the bus-stop. She is late delivering the meal, trying to save her younger sister, Jinda, from being seduced by the village rake. Continue reading

Aparna Sen – Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

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Plot:
Meenakshi, a young women from a very traditional Hindu family (Tamil Brahmins), travels by bus from a mountain town to catch a train from the plains. It’s a long journey, especially when one has a small baby to care for (like Meenakshi), so she is entrusted into care of Raja, worldwide known photographer. They behave as polite strangers until some religious flare-up disrupts the journey. Continue reading

Govindan Aravindan – Kanchana Sita AKA Golden Sita (1977)

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PLOT
From Wikipedia:
The film begins with the journey of Rama and Lakshmana to kill Shambuka – the shudra who performs penance – but Shambuka’s wife pleads for his life, and he is spared. Rama and Lakshmana return to Ayodhya to face Urmila, the spirited wife of Lakshmana. Rama replies to her reproaches for abandoning Sita in the Dandakaranya forests, through which they have just journeyed, that the husband of Sita is only a servant of the people of Ayodhya.
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Madhushree Dutta – Scribbles on Akka (2000)

In this short film on the life and work of the 12th century saint-poet, Mahadevi Akka, her radical poems, written with the female body as a metaphor, have been composed and picturised in contemporary musical language. Mahadevi, framed as Akka – elder sister, while leaving the domestic arena in search of God also abondoned modesty and clothing. The film explores the meaning of this denial through the work of contemporary artists and writers and testimonies of ordinary folk who nurtured her image through centuries in their folklore and oral literature. A celebration of rebellion, feminity and legacy down nine hundred years. Continue reading