n India’s resource-rich Meghalaya State, demand for coal is transforming the environment and the people who depend on it. Coal mine owners are prospering from booming production, but few laws regulate the dangerous and polluting practice known as “rat-hole” mining. Until now.
An important historical record of a traumatic period in India’s recent political history, PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE by Anand Patwardhan focuses on the State of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi from June 1975 to March 1977. During the Emergency the media was muzzled, over 100,000 people were arrested without charge and imprisoned without trial. But political prisoners existed before the Emergency, and they continue to exist even after it is over.
Documentary film has had a long and interesting career in India. It was mobilised, until Independence, as a vehicle for Imperial propaganda, and put in the service of the nation-building project in free India. To be sure, much of Films Division (FD) sponsored documentary work also did not rise much above the status of propaganda, but its ideals were self-avowedly loftier – to educate the ‘masses’ beholden to tradition, to create modern and scientific-minded citizens, national integration, etc. Work of several filmmakers, like S. Sukhdev and SNS Sastry, supported by FD in the 60s and 70s did betray an independent streak, evidenced by their efforts to tackle difficult subjects coupled with bold formal experiments, but their critical perspective seems to have dissipated by the time of the Emergency.
A documentary about Bike, Love & Life with HIV in Shillong
Gauri Lankesh was one of the Karnataka’s most prominent and fearless journalist. She was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru on the night of 5th September, 2017. Gauri spoke out against communal forces in the Country and represented dissent and freedom of speech. The film is more than a personal tribute and follows her political journey, envisaging what she stood for and her struggle for communal harmony until her last breath. And her life story has become the history of Karnataka’s fight against right-wing communal forces.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s act of denying exemption of censor for three films selected for the 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala has invited strong reactions from various corners. The festival, one of its kind in the country, is an avenue for documentary filmmakers to get a wide audience for their films. It is particularly an important platform for independent filmmakers. What is common to these three films—In the Shade of Fallen Chinar, Directed by Fazil N.C. and Shawn Sebastian; The Unbearable Being of Lightness, directed by P.N. Ramachandra; and March March March, directed by Kathu Lukose—is that they deal with issues related to contemporary politics.
Anthropologists Dolly Kikon and Bengt G. Karlsson collaborated with photographer Andrzej Markiewicz to trace the lives and lifeworlds of indigenous migrants who have travelled from the Northeastern frontier of India to the expanding cities of South India.
I first met RV Ramani, in Delhi, April 2015 and collected some DVDs of his films. Recently, I watched the film Hindustan Hamara (2014), and I decided to ask RV Ramani some questions about this, and his films My Camera and Tsunami (2011) and Nee Engey (2003).
Beyond the FACEBOOK shared nostalgic mist covered view of Shillong lies the reality of very Shillong kind of deprivation – unspoken and silent. Students of Christ Church’s Morning School, Mawlai Syllaikariah decide to hear the truth. This is a story burom-class of Shillong do not want to be told.
It is indeed noteworthy that the only organised and consistent resistance to state and vigilante censorship in India has been from the community of documentary filmmakers. Individual filmmakers have had their battles with censorship and the Censor Board over many years.
Buddha Weeps in Jadugoda kadei ka film ba paw Nam ba la shna da U Sriprakash. Kane ka phlim ha ka sein ba nyngkong eh ka pynpaw paidbah ia ki jingshisha halor ka jingtih uranium ha jadugoda da ka UCIL ka ba dei ka company ba kwah ban rih uranium ha jylla jong ngi ruh. Ka headquarter jong ka UCIL ka don ha Jadugoda, Kat ta ruh pat ka shim da lah ban khmih ba yn ym don jingktah ia ka koit ka khiah Na ka radiation ba mih Na ka jingtih Uranium ha Jadugoda.
Hindutva imagery and messages from the streets of Mumbai.
The streaming begins and what you witness through Ranjan Palit’s lens is never a linear story. In Camera – Diaries of a Documentary Cameraman places before a viewer, collages—haunting landscapes and lives—from the fault-lines of Indian democracy.
I was shot in my leg and spent 56 hours hiding from the army without food or water. I watched helplessly as flies laid eggs which started eating my wounded flesh.
The JNU episode hasn’t just questioned the manner in which citizens and students approach politics, but also shady media practices, doctored videos and rabid television presenters.
The children in Nayanagarh Primary School, Jambani Primary School, Belpahari, Jangalmahal, West Bengal are all under the age of 10. But already they “know” that some languages are “worth” more than others and the one they speak at home is “worth least”.
Above the Din of Sewing Machines & Labels from a Global City document the exploitative work conditions of women workers in the garment industry in Bangalore
‘Kicking from the Corner’ (2015), a documentary exploring the football culture in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Travel in local passenger trains in Bihar/Jharkhand
To be brave you have to risk something. To be meaty, brilliant, and thorny you have to provide insights that don’t just voice what most of the people in the room would like to say, but that takes them to a different level of understanding or provokes them to investigate further. With great respect for Chris Rock’s career, I don’t think Oscar night he achieved either.
You may have heard of Gwalia in Khasia, the book by Nigel Jenkins but had heard of the film? Watch this classic BBC documentary on the history and politics of Khasi Hills
Photographer and archivist Aditya Arya was at the book launch of India by Steve McCurry’s and some questions went unanswered
It is fair to say that in any writing of the history of western music in India, Shillong would deserve a chapter. It is just that the writing of this chapter has become way too problematic – too many loose ends, too many grand unifying theories. The culture of western popular music in Shillong has no shortage of hagiographers. In fact most of the writing on this field has been gushy, uncritical and downright fallacious (there have been so many that it would be worthwhile to bring out a compendium of these).
Beef not allowed on film too
ML 05 B 6055 documents the journey of a bazaar bus between the village of Mawjatap in the East Khasi Hills and Shillong
A photo essay on migrant workers of Delhi by Sadho Ram, a Jharkhandi migrant