Chennai Film Festival on Social Justice

Film Festival on Social Justice
Jointly organized by MARUPAKKAM & Periyar Self Respect Media (Dravidar Kazhagam)
Curated by Amudhan R.P.
Coordinated by Prince Ennares Periyar
3-5 October 2014; 11 am to 5 pm; Periyar Thidal, Chennai
3 Oct 2014
Guest speakers: Karuppu Karuna, Jeny Doly,

11:15 am                                 Gulabi Gang: Dir: Nishtha Jain; 96 minutes; Hindi and Bundelkhandi with English Subtitles; 2012

In Bundelkhand, India, a revolution is in the making among the poorest of the poor, as Sampat Pal Devi and the fiery women of her Gulabi Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence, caste oppression and widespread corruption. They want to change the unchangeable with an organised social action and unification. It's a picture of rural India and a story about underprivileged, especially a story of Indian women.
1:00                                         Lunch break
2:00                                         1cube : Dir: Pramod Dev:42min 51secs: Documentary: English, Malayalam & Tamil; 2012: India
The film depicts a working day of three women living thousands of kilometers apart with nothing in common between them. Their only connection is that they are in contact with trade and globalization in one-way or the other. As the film crisscrosses the lives of the three women; it explores whether they are truly different and unconnected.

3:00                                         The Red Data Book: An Appendix: Dir: Deepu and Sreemith; 68 min; Malayalam with English subtitles

The film is a layered examination of the factors, both contemporary and historical, that have led the Adivasi (tribal) communities of Attappady (Kerala, South India) to the verge of extinction. The film focuses on the phenomenon of rising infant mortality to probe the entire range of underlying factors. Is it mainly due to malnutrition, as the State claims? Is it their exclusion from the fruits of so-called development? Is it their refusal to 'modernise'? Or is it our inability to comprehend and preserve their centuries-old harmonious way of life? Have our prescriptive interventions helped? Or have they caused great harm? The film attempts to understand the gamut of 'alienations' responsible - social, cultural, economic and political while gently posing the core question: Is it they who are alienated from the onward march of progress or is it us who are alienated, blinded by the discourse of modernity?

4:30                                         I burnt my fingers :  Dir: Kamlesh Udesi; 33mins39 seccs; Gujarati; 2013; India
The largest democracy of the world witnessed one of the most brutal instances of human rights violation. An instance which proved that social welfare exists only in the files of the government office. In one of the most developing states- Gujarat, one man, after losing the election of village head ‘Sarpanch’,  made 150 villagers go through the test of truth by putting their fingers in burning oil.
I burnt my fingers is a story of those unfortunate men and women who faced the toughest test with their blood and flesh to prove their innocence and loyalty.

Are you listening?  Dir:  Kamar Simond Ahmed and Sara Afreen; 90’;  Bangladesh, 2012

Rakhi (27) lives with her man Soumen (32) and son Rahul (6) in a small village named Sutarkhali next to the mangrove forests of Sundarbans in the coastal belt of Bangladesh. Along with around hundred other families, they live on the land for generations. On 25 May 2009, when Rahul is only four years old, a tidal surge sweeps over the coasts of Bangladesh, flooding the entire villge and the lands they cultivate. Life changes for Rakhi, Soumen and Rahul as the entire village takes refuge on an age-old dyke, surviving on relief from outside. Are You Listening! is about a mother’s hope to ensure a dignified future for her son. It's about a jobless husband’s frustration for failing to provide for his family, and a community’s struggle to get back the land they have lost.
4 Oct 2014
Guest speakers: A. Marx
11 am                                      Seruppu : Dir: Amudhan R.P.; 64 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2006
This film portrays the life and struggle of the inhabitants of Dharmanathapuram, an old slum in Tiruchirappalli with the combination of ethnographic and point of view style.
The protagonists are dalits/untouchables/harijans involved in making footwear for their livelihood, which is their traditional caste based occupation. They are also Catholics and that religious identity “officially prohibits” them from getting benefits such as reservation/quota in education and jobs, scholarship for students, and other measures that are otherwise available for fellow “Hindu” dalits under the same Indian constitution.
Besides the external trouble, they also face discrimination within the church as their fellow Catholics who happened to be “upper castes” practice untouchability and hegemony over the lower caste Christians.

12:15                                       My Kashmir : Dir: Modhuri Mohinder and Vaishali Sinha; 31mins; Documentary; English, Urdu, Kashmiri, Hindi; 2013; India

My Kashmir is a film about being young in Kashmir, India, one of the most contentious and militarized regions in the world. For two college students, Iqbal & Javaid, a childhood rife with curfews, crossfires and crackdowns has given way to a generation questioning their lack of freedom, while carving a peaceful path to their future.

1:00                                         Lunch break
2:00                                         Farooq versus The State: Dir: Anjali Montero and K.P. Jayasankar: 25mins: Documentary: Hindi, English;  2012: India
Hari Masjid, Wadala, Mumbai, was the scene of a brutal police attack on January 10, 1993. Though Farooq Mhapkar was one of the casualties of indiscriminate police firing, he was charged as a rioter. Farooq versus The State is the story of Farooq's protracted legal battle against an unyielding State in pursuit of justice. Through this case, the film seeks to explore how justice was delayed and denied to the victims and survivors of the 1992-93 communal violence.

2:45                                         Kandhamal UNRESOLVED: Dir: Shailendra boora; 60mins; Documentary; Hindi; 2013; India
Its been five years since the communal violence unleashed on Christians in Kandhamal, Odisha. Until now, peace and justice have been to the victims. Very few were arrested and even they have been released on bail. The film looks into the present situation of Kandhamal, especially the struggles of victims, denial of peace and justice, intimidation, and hate-campaign by sang parivar, and relationship between the Hindu identity and the Adivasi community
4:00                                         Sama – Muslim Mystic Music of India: Dir: Shazia Khan:  52mins: Documentary: Multiple Indian regional Languages;  2013; India

SAMA is the story of Indian Islamic Music, born out of a union of Indian and Islamic traditions, more than a thousand years ago. It explores the intermingling of these, in both form and content, to become a truly magnificent sound.
5 Oct 2014
Guests: Maga Tamizh Prabakaran, Poongulali (Filmmakers)
11 am                                      This Land belongs to the army: Dir: Maga Tamizh Prabakaran; 43 min; English; 2013
This film exposes the genocidal war waged by the Sri Lankan army and shows for the first time, the current uncensored reality in post war Sri Lanka. It also exposes the Sri Lankan government’s policy of Sinalisation and land occupation by the brutal Sri Lankan army
12:00                                       Thee Varaivu : Dir: Poongulali; 60 min; Tamil with English subtitles; 2013
In a society where social, political, economical aspects, along with caste and religious pride, continue to remain the overriding factors in arranging marriages rather than biological factors. The film drives home the point that the risks of genetical disorders in close-kin marriages are equally overriding.
01:00                                       Lunch break
2:00                                         Mystery Hunters : Dir: Sajeevan Anthikad: 59mins: Documentary: English: 2012: India
Mystery Hunters is a documentary about the life of a social reformer, Basava Premanand (17february 1930-4october 2009). He lived in Pothanur, Coimbatore. He has organized many tours around rural India for the promotion of scientific thinking including exposing alleged ‘Miracles and scams done by various gurus and also spread awareness against superstition.

3:15                                         Candles in the wind: Dir: Kavita Bahl and Nandan Saxena; 60 min; English; 2012
The film witnesses the march of farm –widows as they re-negotiate the politics of domination in their bid to survive. Their struggle gives us a windo in to the socio-economic flux in India- a nuanced understanding of the silent under-current of a gender-specific struggle in the larger narrative of surviving as a farmer in these times.
4:30                                         Feedback and closing remarks