Film Review – Cities of Sleep (Shaunak Sen, 2015)

By Divya Sachar     Early on, in Shaunak Sen’s Cities of Sleep, which explores the world of sleep shelters providing refuge to the homeless at night, a child asks his father to tell a bedtime story. The tale that is recounted is the old hare and tortoise fable. The lesson learnt is, those who […]

Film review – Angry Indian Goddesses (Pan Nalin, 2015)

By Divya Sachar     One is not sure how to address Pan Nalin’s Angry Indian Goddesses. It claims to be a feminist film, and genuinely seeks to be one at times, but clearly panders to a male audience in a titillating way. It is a call to arms to women, while citing trite misogynist […]

Film review – Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai (Nakul Sawhney, 2015)

By Divya Sachar       A few days ago I was rudely woken up at 230 am by what seemed like distant war cries. “Jai Sri Ram”, the voices screamed. It turned out to be a BJP rally in the dead of night. The incendiary tone was unmistakable, and slogans like “Jai Bhavani Ma” […]

Film review – Caste on the Menu Card (2015)

By Divya Sachar     Caste on the Menu Card, a short documentary made by five students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences as part of their curriculum, has become famous for being barred from screening at a film festival by the I&B Ministry. The film has been uploaded on YouTube and can be […]

Film review – Titli (Kanu Behl, 2014)

By Divya Sachar     Perhaps one could call Kanu Behl’s much lauded Titli a feminist film. Very much about gender, Titli questions the very idea of masculinity in Indian society. Strong performances (from a primarily amateur cast), an unsentimental portrayal of Indian poverty, an excellent screenplay and a debutante director who knows his technique, […]

Film review – The Tribe (2014)

By Divya Sachar     The Ukrainian film The Tribe, written and directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, is one of the major successes from Cannes this year, and is not an easy film to watch. This isn’t necessarily so because the film is completely in sign language, sans even subtitles. What makes it difficult is the […]

Film review – Forest of Bliss (Robert Gardner, 1986)

By Divya Sachar   Anthropologist and filmmaker Robert Gardner, who was also the founder of the Harvard Film Study Centre, which has produced films of exceptional artistic genius, died last year. Gardner’s films have had a deep impact on documentary practices but he is little known in India. In fact his seminal 1986 film Forest […]

Nobody’s Daughter Haewon – By Hong Sang Soo (Korean, 2013)

Warning: Spoilers ahead. It’s best to read this piece after having watched the film.   Nobody’s Daughter Haewon is a gently comic look at its protagonist, Haewon, a young acting student. Through the film, Haewon is shown sharing a warm relationship with her mother, being pursued by successful older men, being hated by her friends […]