A plethora of images, videos, reflections and shadows. Meditations and interpretations, whispers and undimmed voices. Laminated by these, Delhi-based filmmaker Priyanka Chhabra’s short film Shame was a Place Inside explores the nebulous space between a body and its consciousness, between self-reproach and self-doubt.
Beefing up on the concept of an audio installation, Chhabra’s film will be screened as part of the 14th PSBT Open Frame film festival.
The 12-minute film reels out fractions of candid conversations the filmmaker and illustrator had with her friends. Recorded mostly in public places (think parks, coffee houses or the metro) these bits and pieces of conversations are intended at triggering a caravan of thoughts, and leave the audience with something to deliberate on. It ventures forth to explore the psychology of shame, and where it originates from. “You are told what to be ashamed about, because you don’t have a concept of shame,” says one of the many voices in Chhabra’s film. “The core idea was to start by stitching together varying personal experiences, reflect on the larger issues of sex, morality, desire and gender. And then to raise potent questions about the validity of female desire and the role of the family in creating gender norms,” says Chhabra, a 2009 graduate of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Her earlier work includes a short experimental film called A Summer Flu (2013), which was screened at a few film festivals.
Pondering over the roots of fear and shame, the filmmaker has put down the questions in her concept note. It reads: “Just how far deep and where does the emotion of shame reside. Does it lie in the landscape that unglamorously sprouts between my lips and my nose? Or maybe in the dark shadows below my stomach and between my legs”. Gleaming with potential of the filmmaker’s approach and the unusual subject at hand, the film promises to be more than just a dekko. Post the PSBT premiere, Chhabra hopes for it to travel to other film festivals.
The film will be screened today at CD Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre, Lodhi Estate, 3:45pm onwards.
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