Cross-Continental

As Israeli forces pound Gaza,Hamas fire rockets and wounded people huddle among dead bodies in crumbling homes,a different tale from Palestine will come to Delhi with the Tricontinental Film Festival that begins on January 15.

Written by Vandana Kalra | Published: January 10, 2009 1:15 am

A film festival brings together hard-hitting stories from Asia,Africa and South America

As Israeli forces pound Gaza,Hamas fire rockets and wounded people huddle among dead bodies in crumbling homes,a different tale from Palestine will come to Delhi with the Tricontinental Film Festival that begins on January 15. Natalie Assouline’s documentary Brides of Allah will talk about Palestinian women serving time in Israeli prisons for alleged terrorist links.

The festival,in its fifth year in India,brings together movies about Asia,Africa and South America. If the opening film,Gini Reticker’s Pray the Devil Back to Hell is about a band of Liberian women who came out to end the country’s decades-old civil war in 2003,Anthony Gilmore’s documentary Behind Forgotten Eyes goes to Korea during World War II and its thousands of women kidnapped by the Japanese army and forced into sexual slavery. “There has been a conscious effort to put together a selection that will bring to light different issues related to human rights from across the world,” says Alika Khosla,director of the festival,which will travel to Mumbai,Goa,Bangalore and Kolkata.

Among the 28 films,11 are from Asia. The films have been classified into four categories — “Body Public” explores how people interact with public spaces; “Not All in Good Faith” has films about exploitation of the workforce; “The Line That Defines” features four films on migration; and “Zones of War” has 11 films that explore battle-scarred regions across the world.

Every screening will be followed by a discussion and often an interface with filmmakers. Filmmakers Gabriela Gutierrez Dewar and Sally Gutierrez Dewar will conduct a workshop on their film Tapologo,titled after a network established by a group of HIV-infected,former sex-workers in a squatter settlement called Freedom Park in South Africa. Also in attendance will be Canada-based Lila Ghobady,who will introduce the documentary Forbidden Sun Dance that depicts the plight of artists who are put in prisons or forced into exile after the 1979 Revolution in Iran. It will be shown through the eyes of the dancer Aram Bayat who reveals the story of her political exile from Iran. “The discussions with filmmakers are intended to allow viewers to get a better idea of the concerns that their films deal with,” says Khosla,hoping to draw in a large crowd at the festival.

The festival will take place at the India Habitat Centre and Alliance Francaise from January 15 to 18

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