That Oscar-winning director Megan Mylan has a fascination with developing countries is now well known. After two brilliant documentaries Lost Boys of Sudan and the Oscar-winning India-based Smile Pinki,she is now all set with her next project which is a story on racial inequality in Brazil. Its not like I focus on only third-world countries, she avers. They fascinate me because they portray a very varied reality,speak a different language. While communication is the biggest challenge,its my way of getting to know other cultures better.
In India,for the premiere of Smile Pinki,she says she feels at home. This is my first visit to Mumbai. But there is a story in everything you see herethe posters of filmstars on autos,the roadside vendor and so on. While many aspects of India continue to draw her interest,Brazil seems to be her priority at the moment. Brazil has been so famous for being a country of racial harmony and being so racially inclusive. Many Brazilians think they already have racial harmony. But this is not true, says Mylan who lived there in the early 90s and has had some first-hand experience in the country.
Mylan,in her documentary,will focus not just on issues of racebut also class. Things like racial quotas for schools are being put into effect but it isnt going all that easily, she says. She has nearly finished with filming and is now into the post-production of her next documentary. The final product will be a feature-length film that follows three characters,the countrys only black senator,a pop star turned entrepreneur who has launched a TV station for black Brazilians and a womangranddaughter of slaves who lives in a maroon society called Quilombos.
And where is she headed post that? My job is an excuse to explore newer countries. But it is the people that interest me more, she says,promising us that she will be back here soon.