Thursday, February 17, 2005

Father,Son and Holy War

There is a documentary of the same name as above by Anand Patwardhan. I chanced upon it through my class on 'Individual and Indian Society' and I must say, it was really good! Most of all I was impressed by the man's commitment towards he cause. You could read about Anand Patwardhan here.
His War and Peace was recently shown at the Goa Film Festival.
After I saw this documentary, one thing is for sure, that my attitude towards documentaries has really changed. Earlier I used to be completely uninterested towards them. In fact, the last time I participated in FTII Film Festival, I did not go to watch even a single documentary.
Documentaries are in your face. They are gross. But they are as things are!Yeah, at the end of the day it is the director's view. But it tells you something without scripts, without dialogues.
For example, there was this woman from Rajasthan, an illiterate cook, talking about Sati. She had a photograph of Roop Kanwar at the Sati-site on her husband's pyre. In the picture, there was also a photograph of God, and rays from God were falling on Roop Kanwar. When the cook was asked about that photograph, she said she got it at the Sati site and that the photograph was real and that morphing is impossible. The most hilarious pf everything was that she believed that the God's picture was real, otherwise who would believe that God is for real. Also, she said that God is invisible to the naked eye because HE hides behind trees, and it was by chance HE could be clicked in that photograph.It was laughable alright, but it also throws light on the degree to which such illiterate and ignorant people are disillusioned.
There were alternating accounts of Hindus'Sati and Muslims'Talaq. The only thing that was apparent from those accounts was suffering of women in the name of religion, no matter which one! Both the religions claimed that they in fact put their women on pedestal through these ways but the reality reflects in the lives of those who suffer!
In the second part, Hero Pharmacy, there was this sequence where people are celebrating Shivaji Divas, and there was a man telling about the entire decoration. There was this mobile statue of a semi-nude woman aho was bathing. He said that it was Mandakini and it represented the fact that as against earlier times, when fear of Mughal Emperors had made it unsafe for women to bath openly. But after Shivaji, peace resumed and women are no longer unsafe in that way!!!???
I also plan to see 'In the name of God' and if we are fortunate we might be able to hear Mr Patwardhan himself.
As we were informed that he has been into documentary making of this genre for years and he has been harmed physically also to stop him. But it is really admirable that he is continuing all this despite people against his blood.
Read more about Anand Patwardhan's works.

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