Archive for the ‘Film Review’ Category

Announcing Persistence Resistance 2010!

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

The Magic Lantern Foundation is happy to announce:

Persistence Resistance 2010
A festival of contemporary films

Date: February 25-27, 2010
Time: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm

Entry Free

Venue: India International Centre,
40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate
New Delhi 110003

Organised by Magic Lantern Foundation and India International Centre

Persistence Resistance 2010 brings the audiences and matters of films a little closer together in a common space. With out third edition we take forward our quest to explore the diversity of the documentary form.

The expanding content and aesthetics of independent films fuels our need to expand our ways of seeing and being seen. We attempt to create multifaceted spaces for viewing, interaction and discussion that are as diverse and rich as the political complexity of the content and aesthetics that infuse the works.

The festival will screen a large number of films using multiple screening and viewing practices: films will be screened in two auditoria, in the outdoors, in simulated video parlours, at a multi-hub video library, and as installations.

Highlights of the festival:
Daily seminars will engage with aesthetics and politics of the documentary form.
A collection of outstanding films will be screened.
Complete collections of a few filmmakers’ work will be available for viewing together, chronologically and sequentially.
Some critical issues of our times will be articulated through films.

The festival schedule will be available after 15 February 2010 on our website:

For a look at Persistence Resistance 2009, click here


Word Within the Word: A review by Sanjay Kak

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Presenting a review of the film ‘Word Within the Word’ on the website of Open Magazine, by documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak.


Director: Rajula Shah

English (subtitled), 74 min, 2008, India

The “wretched of the earth” hold fast the spirit of Bhakti, the Word resonating in and with their lives. As they sing the poetry of Kabir and Gorakhnath they embody, far beyond the scope of any intellectual resolve, a refusal to die, a bid to seize eternity from historic annihilation.

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To know more about Under Construction, the distribution initiative of Magic Lantern Foundation, please visit:

When two favourites come together…

December 24, 2009 Leave a comment

When two favourites come together a kind of magic happens. A favourite author reviewing a favourite film. Sameera Jain’s Portraits of Belonging: Sagira Begum is a very old favourite and Paromita Vohra reviews it for the Open Magazine. Read the review here:
Gargi Sen

Review on ‘Minukku’: Time Out Magazine, Delhi

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Minukku: a documentary on Kottakkal Sivaraman

Watching the redoubtable kathakali dancer Kottakkal Sivaraman in MR Rajan’s 2006, National Award-winning documentary Minukku instantly calls to mind the term naked indulgence – embodied all so well by characters like Miss Havisham from Great Expectations and Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire. Melodramatic, referring to themselves in the third person, they are victims of some unmentionable horror. In Minukku, Sivaraman is exactly this kind of a person: the first time we hear him speak in the movie, he is recounting how his mother wrote to his teacher Vazhenkada Kunju Nair and begged that he not ask for any money of his pupil because “they couldn’t even afford a quarter of a rupee”. Sivaraman doesn’t stop at this sordid picture of an impecunious family. He tells the camera that if perchance his teacher had refused this request, then his pupil “would have been a wastrel, instead”.

As it turns out, Nair agreed to teach Sivaraman and in, so doing, gave kathakali a revolutionary. The dancer, upon gaining appropriate experience, single-handedly uplifted the lot of an entire set of male performers in kathakali. While traditionally, men who played the roles of women during performances were treated as second-grade artists, Sivaraman injected rigour and discipline into these dancers and had them pore over mythological texts and train relentlessly to add depth and colour to female characters in the dance form. In the documentary, Sivaraman, in a rare show of objectivity, credits his wife Bhavani for helping him see the importance of women in kathakali.

Indeed, the name of the documentary is taken from a colour that is reserved for women in the dance form – in kathakali, noblemen have green faces (or pacha), heroes too share this colour, but have a red spear on their cheek (or kathi), villains are given beards (or thadi), characters that show primitive beings are painted black (or kari) and women are painted in a yellowish-orange colour (or minukku).

In Rajan’s documentary, there are eight excerpts from Sivaraman’s best known portrayals as a minukku, beginning with Draupadi in Duryodhanavadham (Slaying of Duryodhana). Here, as the music rises to a crescendo, the violent, fluttering eyes of an enraged Draupadi, cursing as Duryodhana’s brother Dushyasan disrobes her, make you want to actually sit in the front rows and take in all the splendour of Sivaraman’s performance. Then, in Poothanamoksham (Poothana’s Redemption) where he plays the role of nursing maid sent to kill the child Krishna, the dancer, using the entire arsenal of expressions that kathakali allows, paints for the audience, the beauty of the mythical land of Brindavana.

However, despite the breathtaking qualities of those performances, the documentary is most incisive in the quieter moments: when the 70-year-old Sivaraman, in a conversation with the actor Nedumudi Venu, drops his façade as a stage persona and becomes a genial granddaddy talking to the young one about his life. Here, where there is no indulgence, no drama, no waterworks and no elaborate make-up, is where Minukku is truly dazzling. Joshua Muyiwa

Source : Time Out Delhi ISSUE 16 Friday, October 30, 2009

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Sourav Sarangi: An article in tehelka

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Below is an article in the Tehelka magazine about Sourav Sarangi, Under Construction filmmaker, known for having directed films like Bilal, Bhangon(Erosion).

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To order copies of his films, write to us at:

Paromita Vohra: An article in tehelka

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

U. Below is an article in the Tehelka magazine about Paromita Vohra, Under Construction filmmaker, known for having directed films like Q2P, Where’s Sandra, Cosmopolis: A Tale of 2 cities, Work in Progress,,
,Unlimted Girls, Annapurna , A Woman’s Place.


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Rajula Shah: An article in ‘Tehelka’

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

An article in ‘tehelka’ about Rajula Shah, Under Construction filmmaker known for her film ‘Word within the word’.

To order copies, write to us at:

Read online