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RIFF, 7: Films, Knowledge Series and Open Forum

RIFF, 7: Films, Knowledge Series and Open Forum At the inaugural function of the Sixth Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), on 18th January, 2020, at the Open-Air Jawahar Kala Kendra, the following films were screened: My Turn (Korea), Kalamkhush, #Jaipuractivists and Dhanak (all from India). Regular screenings and other sessions commenced at Cinépolis, Jaipur, on the second day, the 19th of January, 2020. Films screened during the morning session were Chitthiyan, Pearl-A Girl...

Jhalki, Review: Stop stealing childhood from children

Jhalki, Review: Stop stealing childhood from children After much-raved biopics on Rahul Dev Burman and Jagjit Singh, director Brahmanand S. Siingh trains his lens on an issue that is based on true incidents and is a burning topic for Indian society at large. It brought Kailash Satyarthi the Nobel Peace Prize, and he is both depicted as well as present in the film. How many film-makers can make any such claim? The subject is child-trafficking, and employing little children in carpet factories,...

Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri’s Alma Mater, NSD’s Theatre Olympics

Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri’s Alma Mater, NSD’s Theatre Olympics India’s National School of Drama (NSD) has produced many a luminary in the field of film and television, both in front of and behind the camera. An autonomous institution under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, it is located in New Delhi. The first batch of students came in 1961. Since then, between 10 and 33 students pass out every year. NSD is now holding its 8th Theatre Olympics in Mumbai, ...

Siraj Syed reviews Lion: Soaring emotions, roaring cinema

Siraj Syed reviews Lion: Soaring emotions, roaring cinema Lion is the tale of mothers and sons, brothers and sisters, separation and unification, brimming with humanity, and yet not fighting shy of tilting the camera down, to capture the grim realities of crime and perversion in a cruel and miserable world. All those who frown upon technology as the bane of the 21st century, here’s a glorious tribute to the great service it can and is meant to render, and does, as evidenced in the film....

Parched, Review by Siraj Syed: Rani & Lajjo & Bijli & Thelma & Louise’s Rihaee

Parched, Review by Siraj Syed: Rani & Lajjo & Bijli & Thelma & Louise’s Rihaee Get this right. Parched is not a remake. It is a nod to the soul of the 1988 film, Rihaee (Liberation, directed by Aruna Rajé), and a tribute to one of the most discussed climaxes in cinematic history: Hollywood’s Thelma and Louise, a 1991 milestone by Ridley Scott. One film old director Leena Yadav sets her tale in Rajasthan, enlists a youngish cast and a predominantly foreign cr...

Island City, Review: Fun and the Gun, Idiot and the Box, BeauT and IT

  Early on in Ruchika Oberoi’s Island City, an IT company Manager reminds his employees that its temporary tagline, the three words, all beginning with F, do not constitute the company’s ‘motto’. The latter consists of three words beginning with O. Three, just in case you missed the point. She goes on to mount three stories, tenuously linked, based in Mumbai, but not directly about the trials and tribulations of living in a city that once consisted ...

Gour Hari Dastaan/The Freedom File, Review: His-story

Gour Hari Dastaan/The Freedom File, Review: His-story Described in the press as a Kafkaesque black comedy when it was launched in 2011, Gour Hari Dastaan is based on a true story, of Gour Hari Das (now 85), with some Kafkaesque undertones, but very little or no black comedy. It cannot afford to be a comedy, let alone a black one, since it deals with the sensitive subject of the neglect and disregard suffered by those who participated in the struggle to rid India of British colonial rule. Brit...

Bhopal--A Prayer for Rain, Review: In vain

 Bhopal--A Prayer for Rain, Review: In vain Mass deaths and long-term disabilities, going into the next generation as well, due to poisonous gas leak from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal 30 years ago constituted the worst industrial disaster in history. It also led to bitter wrangling over liability, compensation and rehabilitation, amid accusations of sell-outs and cover-ups. Warren Anderson, the head of the American company, was largely perceived as the man responsible for th...
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