While shooting for ‘Shala’ (2012), Marathi filmmaker Sujay Dahake had casually abused a co-worker for not doing a job properly. Seven years later, when Dahake met him again, he was intrigued that his colleague still had a recollection of the incident.
This, the National Award-winning filmmaker said Monday, had compelled him to explore the inherent violence in verbal abuse that is widely prevalent in the society.
“I was taken aback (when he met the colleague seven years later) and wondered how an insult can carry so much weight. It was then I decided that I must talk about verbal violence through a film, and the idea to make ‘Tujhya Aaila’ was born,” Dahake says.
The movie, which competing with seven other movies for Best Marathi Film award at the ongoing Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), was screened at the festival Sunday.
It revolves around a 12-year-old urban boy who takes admission to a rural school after his family moves to a village following his father’s transfer. Unknown to the rural culture, the boy is surprised when he is exposed to the culture of verbal abuse prevalent among his fellow students. While the protagonist works hard to adapt and blend in, the events around him make him question the practice of verbal abuse so widely prevalent.
“The film deals with contrasting ideas, caste, culture and corporal punishment. It has a layer of violence, but it mainly delves on feminism. Why do verbal abuses refer only to females and not men… The gravity of verbal violence can be dangerous,” Dahake adds.
Director Sameer Asha Patil’s film ‘Bonsai’, also competing for the award category, dwells upon urban migration and harps on the importance of one’s roots.
“This story was born from my own experiences. It is difficult for a villager, who has lived among nature and followed rural customs, to adjust in a sprawling city, which is made of artificial and technical things. We have created a different kind of bonsai society that is artificial with our own roots making our lives colourless and dull,” he says.
The five other films competing in the category are ‘Anandi Gopal’, ‘Chivati’, ‘Y’, ‘Photo Prem’ and ‘Smile Please’.
‘Low quality’ tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Screening of director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anuradha (1960) at National Film Archive of India’s (NFAI), Kothrud campus, Monday morning left several cinema lovers ruffled over the “poor quality” of the video.
As per schedule for the 18th edition of Pune International Film Festival, the film was to be screened on celluloid 35 mm print. However, people claimed that a “blurry, low-quality video downloaded from Youtube” was used for the screening.
“I came all the way from Viman Nagar to watch the film on the big screen. When it started, I realised that it was a YouTube video so I left in disgust,” a film student rued.
While NFAI director Prakash Magdum did not comment on the issue, PIFF volunteers claimed a 35 mm print of the film is available with NFAI, but the auditorium didn’t have the facility for projecting the print. “Hence, at last moment we decided to download the film and run it,” a volunteer said.
As per officials, a total of three films were scheduled to be screened on 35 mm prints at the venue without it having requisite facilities.