Focus on Women - a trend in International Cinema
Jai Chandiram's indepth analysis
(L) Ramchand Pakistani (R) Gulabi Talkies
The Osian Festival had strong features on the ‘Woman” To name a few Gulabi Talkies, Ramchand Pakistani , Whatever Lola wants, Lady Chatterley,
Starting with Mehreen Jabbar’s award winner , Ramachand Pakistani is as much the story of the young boy Ramchand who inadvertently crosses the border as it is the story of his mother Champa. Her husband also crosses the border in search of his son and
both are imprisoned in
Based on a true story Ramchand Pakistani mirrors the turmoil of families separated by borders accidentally and decay in jails leaving the families in limbo. Champa’s story of perseverance and survival are a tribute to the resilience and strength of women .Aiming for a wider audience the film focuses on the narrative of individual struggles and the harsh politics and the governments are distanced which to a large extent is also the reality of life.
Gulab a midwife ,sweet , charming lives on her own in the island village. Musa her husband has deserted her and married another woman and has a son Adda. Gulab in her loneliness is obsessed with films - so much so that she has never missed the first show in the theater. She is dragged out of a theater for a delivery with the promise she can have a satellite TV connection. She can watch all the song and dance numbers at home. Gulab in her loneliness invites the village women to watch the films and serials. Her home becomes a free theater, Gulabi Talkies, where women live their reel lives. Against the background of globalization the village “fish wars” a divide the village on communal lines . Gulab in tune with her romantic world inadvertently helps a young woman to elope and she gets caught in the communal division and the village women are forbidden to view the serials in her home . Musa has grown in success and returns to her to eat her special dishes which she lovingly prepares. She is content to have Musa back in her life and share his son’s affection. Gulab fights for fairness in the fish wars forcefully and finally Musa succumbs to her goodness.
Umashree, award winner at The Osian festival gives a multi layered nuanced performance which in its subtlety wins her not only the affection of the villagers but reaches out to the audience.
A young woman is kidnapped, duped and sold to a farmer as a bride in an isolated mountain village. She fights bitterly for her freedom and tries to escape from this marriage .The young women tell her that it is impassible to escape but she continues to try and escape. Her letters are intercepted, the police will not admit her complaint and she continues her fight. A young boy whom she teaches alerts her that her mail is intercepted and offers to mail the letter to her father. Her father arrives and there is a fight with the villagers and they are able to forcibly .keep her. Her father returns with the police from
the city and intervenes in her release. . The film captures the period, and highlights the brutality and the blindness of the community in giving freedom to a young woman who is kept in marriage against her will. The story is based on a true incident. The film has all the elements of a documentary and captures the harsh reality of rural
The Western Trunk Line by Li Jixian (
This film also highlights Xueyan isolation in a remote town. She is young pretty and an excellent dancer. She is harassed by the local community as they learn that her father was a counter revolutionary. Xueyan works in the quarry and sends money to her ailing father. Siping, young aimless, a rebel hates work and escapes to the world of radio. He tinkers and can fix broken radios like a true” jugad”. Living opposite her, he falls in love with Xueyan and her dance. His kid brother an artist also falls in love with Xueyan. Sipinh not only avoids work but steals money from mail. He is on conscription duty and dies in a mission saving public property. Xueyen world is topsy-turvy and must begin her life again. A young woman making a life on her own, shot in a documentary style, the film captures the period and the harsh reality of isolation beautifully. A proud woman Xueyan is no chick!
Hidden Faces - Saki Yuzler Turkey
Germany makes the strongest case against honor killings. The story is told from the point of view of the family that must kill Zure who had a child from a shepherd boy who abandons her . Zure’s brother Ali 17 years old is ordered to strangle his sister’s baby in front of her. The father is ordered to kill Zure. Ismail does kill the child and the father does not find the heart to kill his daughter and instead shoots himself. Her uncle from
My Blueberry Nights , Osian’s centerpiece by Wong Kar Wai , (Hong Kong-
This film featured Norah Jones. Heart broken
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