Archive for the ‘Resources/New Films’ Category

New Books at Zubaan Books!!

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment


Memories of a Rolling Stone
By Vina Mazumdar

This endearing, witty, self-deprecating memoir documents the life of one of the leading feminists of the contemporary Indian women’s movement. Vina Mazumdar, one of the key reserchers and writers of the landmark report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, Towards Equality, here documents her early life, her gradual politicization in a household of liberal, educated Bengalis, and her involvement in women’s issues and the women’s movement.

Brought up to be outspoken and frank, Vinadi, as she is affectionately known, began by becoming involved in university-level politics in Bihar. Marriage and a young family did not prevent her from pursuing her studies and her career, in the teeth of considerable opposition from relatives but with constant support from her mother. On her return to India, Vinadi first moved into the field of education, and then with her involvement in the research and writing of Towards Equality, was catapulted into the women’s movement.

An activist and institution builder, Viandi set up the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in Delhi, one of the leading research and outreach institutions for women in the country. In this rare memoir, Vinadi provides a rich history of the contemporary women’s movement in India.

Vina Mazumdar is an activist, institution builder, and academic. She is a founder of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi and of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies. She serves as Member Secretary of the Standing Committee on Women’s Studies of the Government of India.


A Street in Srinagar
Chandrakanta, Translated by Manisha Chaudhry

Srinagar, capital city of the famed ‘paradise on earth’, Kashmir. Ailan Gali, a deep, dark narrow lane that lies at its heart, where houses stand on a finger’s width of space and lean crookedly against each other, so deep, so narrow, so closely connected that even thieves do not dare enter.

Yet people live and love here, they cling on to their old ways, they share stories and food, joys and sorrows, sufficient unto themselves. But the outside world beckons, youngsters begin to leave, and slowly change makes its way into Ailan Gali only to find its hitherto hidden mirror-image – the change that has insidiously been working its way into the lives of those who are the gali’s permanent residents.

This funny, poignant, evocative story of a Kashmir as yet untouched by violence – but with its shadows looming at the edges – is a classic of Hindi literature, available in English translation for the first time.

Chandrakanta Studied in Srinagar and Rajasthan and published her first story in 1967 in Kalpana. She has since written and published many novels and short story collections as well as a volume of poetry.

Manisha Chaudhry has translated stories, novels and documents for a range of publishing houses and organisations, from both Hindi and English. She is currently Head, Content Development with Pratham Books.


Kaifi and I: A Memoir
Author: Shaukat Kaifi
Edited and translated by Nasreen Rehman

From the heart of a well-known family of Hyderabad to life in a single room with the barest of necessities, Shaukat Kaifi’s memoir of her life with the renowned poet Kaifi Azmi speaks of love and commitment.

A marriage of over a half a century, a life steeped in poetry and progressive politics, continuing involvement with the Indian People’s Theatre Association, the Progressive Writers Association, Prithvi Theatre… all of these and more inform this beautifully told tale of love. Shaukat Kaifi’s writing details life in a communist commune, a long career in theatre and film and a life spent bringing up her two children, cinematographer Baba Azmi and actor Shabana Azmi.

Nasreen Rehman’s deft and fluent translation brings this luminous memoir alive with warmth and empathy.

“To say that this is a lovely book would be an understatement. It is an enchanting recollection of the life of a hugely talented and sensitive human being, shared with a great poet.” — Amartya Sen.

Shaukat Kaifi is a well respected theatre and film artiste who has essayed memorable roles in a number of Hindi films from the 1940s to the 1980s. She married the noted Urdu poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi in 1947 during India’s freedom struggle.

Nasreen Rehman is an award winning screenplay writer. Her book, Nur Jahan, The Melody Queen is forthcoming.


Making Babies: Birth Markets and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in India
Editor: Sandhya Srinivasan

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) are usually publicised as ‘miracle cure for infertility.’ However, the social and economic context in which these technologies are developed and promoted have a strong bearing on their use or misuse.

Carefully packaged in the garb of ‘modernity’ and ‘choice,’ the efficacy of these technologies is difficult to challenge. On a deeper analysis, their costs seem to heavily outweigh the benefits. A chain of adverse effects on women’s and children’s health, commodification of their bodies, commercialisation of the reproductive process, unabashed encouragement to sex selection, obsession about biological progeny and eugenics are only some of the concerns that ARTs bring to the fore.

This book is an attempt to look into various aspects of ARTs – their social, medical, legal and economic implications on women in particular, and society at large. The book comprises seven essays by eminent activists and academics, each exploring a specific aspect of ART.

Sandhya Srinivasan is a freelance journalist and consultant. She writes on health and development for various publications and websites, and was a Panos Reproductive Health Media Fellow, writing on the infertility industry in India. She was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship for work in medical ethics.


Bina Das: A Memoir
Author: Bina Das
Translated from Bengali by Dhira Dhar

Best known as a young revolutionary who took up arms against the British establishment, Bina Das numbers among the heroes of Indian history – alongside Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Preetilata Wadedar – who took up arms against the colonisers.

This short memoir movingly recounts the story of her involvement in the shooting of the British Governor of Bengal, Stanley Jackson, at the Annual Convocation Meeting of Calcutta University in 1932, her subsequent incarceration, and her growing involvement in politics.

Despite her importance in Indian history, Bina Das disappeared from public view in later life and is rumoured to have passed away in Rishikesh in early 1997. This account captures the early years of her life and gives insights into the context and history of the times that inspired Bina to take the path that she chose.


Translating Women: Indian Interventions
Editor N. Kamala

While women’s language, women’s writings, and women’s views about the world we live in have all been the focus of much debate and study, this book explores the translation of these experiences and these writings in the context of India, with its multifaceted, multilingual character. If women’s language is different from the patriarchal language that forms the basis of communication in most language communities, what has been the impact of writings from the women’s perspective and how have these writings been translated?

Indian women writers have been translated into English in the Indian context as well as into other western languages. What are the linguistic and cultural specificities of these literary productions? What is foregrounded and what is erased in these translations? What are the politics that inform the choices of the authors to be translated? What is the agency of the translators, and of the archivist, in these cultural productions? What is the role of women translators? These are some of the questions that this book explores.

The book contains insightful essays by some of the best translation scholars in India with an in-depth Introduction and an essay by the well-known writer Ambai on her experience of being translated.

N KAMALA is Profesor of French at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and specializes in translation studies. She has published widely on translation in India and abroad. She was awarded the Katha prize for translation in 1998. Her English translation of Toru Dutt’s French novel The Diary of Mademoiselle d’Arvers was published in 2005.


Codes of Misconduct: Regulating Prostitution in Late Colonial Bombay
Ashwini Tambe

This remarkable study focuses on the relationship between forms of prostitution, discourses on law making, and law enforcement practices.

Across the 19th and early 20th centuries, the colonial government in Bombay city formulated laws on prostitution that were enormously repetitive. Activities such as soliciting men, pimping and procuring women and girls for prostitution were banned in identical ways in multiple eras. Across the same hundred years, commercial sex grew vast in scale, and Bombay became a node in a transnational sex trade circuit.

This book argues that while the expansion of Bombay’s sex trade over the past century might suggest that laws were simply ineffectual, law making was instead a productive process that sustained particular forms of prostitution. In examining this dimension of colonial governance, Tambe evaluates the uses and limits of Foucault’s approach to law and sexuality.

ASHWINI TAMBE is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and History at the University of Toronto. Her reserch focuses on colonial South Asia, gender and sexuality studies, social theory and global political economy. She has co-edited a volume titled The Limits of Colonial Control in South Asia on subaltern mobility in the Indian Ocean region (Routledge 2008), and her essays have appeared in journals such as Feminist Studies, Gender and Society, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Gender, Place and Culture, and Social Scientist.

STATES OF TRAUMA: Gender and Violence in South Asia
Editors: Piya Chatterjee, Manali Desai, Parama Roy

In the last couple of decades, violence as an analytic category has loomed large in the historical, literary and anthropological scholarship of South Asia. The challenge of thinking violence in its gendered incarnations fully and in all its complexity is not only theoretical or critical but also irreducibly ethical and political, given the proliferation of civil wars, pogroms and riots, fundamentalist movements, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, and new technologies of violence and injury. All of these simultaneously feature and help constitute gendered actors and gendered scripts of violence.

States of Trauma seeks to examine this terrain by staging a set of questions. How are we to think about the moral charge that accrues to violence? What is the relationship of violence and non-violence? In considering the moral and affective economy of violence, how may we speak of the seduction of the idioms and practices of militarism and sexualized violence for women? How are these seductions/pleasures distinct from those proffered to men, if indeed, they are distinct?

These are some of the many questions that the essays here — that range from addressing the gendered violence of 1947 to the subalternization of the ‘bandit queen’ Phoolan Devi — seek to address.

Piya Chatterjee is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of California, Riverside.
Manali Desai is Lecturer in Sociology at the London School of Economics.
Parama Roy is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis.

Genderscapes: Revisioning Natural Resource Management
Sumi Krishna

Why does gender bias persist in natural resource management policies and programmes, despite increasing recognition of rural and tribal women’s contribution to conservation and sustainability?

Examining this question from the perspective of an academic and a practitioner, Sumi Krishna looks at diverse areas including the socialization of attitudes, the shaping of community ideologies, and the construction of disciplines and research methodologies.

The author advances the novel concept of ‘genderscapes’ to reflect the totality of women’s lifeworlds to revision natural resource management in complex landscapes. Rich case studies unravel the caring practices of forest-dwellers, women’s knowledge of biodiversity, their responsibility for farming and food production.

SUMI KRISHNA is a Scholar and activist who writes on forestry, the environment, and ecology. She is the author of several books and essays, and has been President of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies.

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‘Harvest of Grief’ is being screened at the IIC

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

‘Harvest of Grief’, a documentary film about the plight of small & marginal farmers, directed by Mr. Anwar Jamal, will be screened at the India International Centre on 10th April, 2010. The programme is subject to last minute changes.

New arrivals in Under Construction!!

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Under Construction, the distribution initiative by Magic Lantern Foundation for dissemination of independent films is happy to announce addition of fifteen new films to the mixed bag;


Director: Manjira Datta

English (subtitled), 64 min, India

The citizens of Mailagora (place of dirt) recycle coal dust in an inferno-like valley ravaged by the horrors of third world industrialization process.


Director: Deepa Dhanraj

English (subtitled), 52 min, India

A historical overview of India’s coercive Family Planning program and its effect on women.


Director: Manjira Datta

English (subtitled), 25 min, India & USA

Who was responsible for the deaths of Lali Devi and her two teenage girls? Was it family pressures or the psycho-social coercion of a perverted, suicidal society?


Director: Manjira Datta

English, 50 min, India

The crisis in West Bengal’s much celebrated land reform and distribution programme and the women’s struggle for equal rights in the present climate of social change, crisis and sweeping globalisation.


Director: Manjira Datta

English (subtitled), 30 min, India

Dispute resolution at the village level in West Bengal, India.


Director: S. Anand

English (subtitled), 60 min, India

The hour-long film charts the life and work of Bhagwan Das, 82, who worked as a research associate with Dr B.R. Ambedkar in 1955-56. It chronicles Das’ sustained pursuit of Ambedkar and his ideals.

BIOGAS (2008)

Director: Vineet Sabharwal

English (subtitled), 48 min, India

Biogas is a renewable energy technology that is ideal for rural India’s cooking needs.


Director: Prasanna Vithanage

English (subtitled), 76 min, Sri Lanka

In attempting to right a wrong committed twenty-five years ago, can Suwisal save himself?


Director: Prasanna Vithanage

English (subtitled), 69 min, Sri Lanka

Old, blind Wannihami knowingly digs up his son’s sealed coffin in order to invalidate the compensation claim. For his greater purpose is to believe that war cannot kill his son.


Director: Sandhir Flora

English (subtitled), 56 min, India

Conflict of ideologies on opening a contemporary Madrassa after 26-11, between NRI Abraham and TV Journalist Maria when both share common dream of educating Poor Muslims.


Director: Prem BK & Kesang Tseten

English (subtitled), 40 min, Nepal

A stark reminder that peace has not yet come for those directly affected by Nepal’s 11-year conflict.


Director: Kesang Tseten & Tsering Rhitar

English (subtitled), 31 min, Nepal

Dawa, a quiet, gentle Sherpa boy, pledges to find a metok Kalma, a rare white rhododendron, for his nomad friend who is losing his eyesight. But, apart from the ordeal of finding this rare flower, he faces many odds from his friends and family. Will Dawa finally rise above himself?

ERASED (2009)

Director: Neha Raheja Thakker

English (subtitled), 9 min, India

A street child grapples with his emerging sexuality as his childlike innocence is slowly erased.

THE DANCE (2008)

Director: Saba Dewan

English (subtitled), 84 min, India

At the Sonpur cattle fair in rural Bihar every evening more than fifty girls take to the stage and dance for an all male audience with a barbed wire fence separating the performers from the spectators.


Director: Saba Dewan

English (subtitled), 63 min, India

The documentary follows Riya, a bar dancer, from her home in Delhi to Mumbai where hundreds of working class girls like her come in search of work and a future.

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Director: Prem BK & Kesang Tseten
A stark reminder that peace has not yet come for those directly affected by Nepal’s 11-year conflict.
English (subtitled), 40 min, Nepal

Gandhi, Jaya Ganga available at MLF!

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Listed below are a couple of National Film Development Corporation films that are now available with the Magic Lantern Foundation for sale:

Director: Richard Attenborough
Telugu, 181 min, 1982
This celebrated film that spans 56 out of Gandhi’s 79 years is available with us in Telugu. Starring Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, among many other distinguished actors, the film is a winner of 8 Oscars.

Director: Vijay Singh
Hindi (with English subtitles), 94 min, 1996
Nishant, an Indian living in Paris, meets Jaya in a cemetery. She claims to live two lives, her own and that of Nadja, the 1920s beauty, who had inspired Andre Breton to write a book on her. Jaya disappears mysteriously, and Nishant undertakes a journey to the Ganga, for which Jaya had an obsessive love. On the river he meets Zehra, a poet and dancer who reminds him of Jaya.

To order copies, write to us

New arrivals in Under Construction!!

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Under Construction, the distribution initiative by Magic Lantern Foundation for dissemination of independent films is happy to announce addition of eight new films to the mixed bag;


Director: Krishnendu Bose, India
English (subtitled), 52 min, India
A film on the politics of conservation


Director: Krishnendu Bose
Hindi, 33 min, India
A short film in Hindi on the people’s conservation movement around Sariska Tiger Reserve


Director: Sanghamitra Karmakar
English (subtitled), 11 min, 2006, India
The story of two-and-a-half year old Bonnie and her reactions to the center of her universe – her father


Director: Krishnendu Bose
English (subtitled), 30 min, India
The mangroves of Orissa and the arribada of Olive Ridley turtles are under threat


Director: Shyamal Karmakar
No Dialogue, 9 min, India
A post-modern, yet a surreal account of an urban woman, Ranu Gayen, within a crumbling space defined by four walls


Director: Krishnendu Bose
English (subtitled), 30 min, India
The lethal tools of the Green Revolution.


Director: Krishnendu Bose
English (subtitled), 42 min, India
Sustainable agriculture and philosophies across India


Director: Krishnendu Bose
English (subtitled), 26 min, India
Water in Rajasthan – who owns it? The government or the people?

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Recent films added to our Under Construction collection

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Under Construction, the distribution initiative by Magic Lantern Foundation for dissemination of independent films is happy to announce addition of ten new films to the mixed bag, for motion

Directed by Anirban Datta

This is the filmmaker’s journey through the alleys of development, cutting across multi ethno-cultural routes, tracing the disconnect, what lies behind the information hole.


Directed by Shashi Ghosh Gupta

The journey of an ordinary young woman from Ahmedabad, on the path of self-discovery and reconciliation, post Gujarat communal riots of 2002


Directed by Sourav Sarangi,

The story of a little boy Bilal, growing up with blind parent

ColofNature_tnColours of Nature

Directed by Sanjay Barnela

Certain groups of people who still work with natural dyes and whose livelihoods depend on it.


Following the rythms

Directed by Sanjay Barnela

The debate – between the Forest Department and the Van Gujjars.

HuntingWater_tn Hunting Down water

Directed by Sanjay barnela and Vasant Sabherwal

The conflicting uses of water in our everyday lives – both rural and urban.


ML o5 B 6055

Directed by Ruchika Negi, Amit Mahanti and Subhasim Goswami

A biographical portrait of bus that is the lifeline between villages of East- Khasi hills and the city of Shillong in Meghalaya

OutOfThinAir_tnOut of thin air

Director: Samreen Farooqui & Shabani Hassanwalia

The story of Ladakh, not through the postcards that tourists often see, but through a subterranean, local film movement that has become a voice of the people.


River taming mantras

Directed by Sanjay Barnela and Vasant Saberwal.

The film explores the technological, economic and political rationale that underlies the adoption of flood control measures.


Directed by Abhay Tiwari

An urban couple has a car breakdown on a desolate road. They go looking for some help and, in the middle of the dense jungle, they have an encounter with a village woman.

SilentHues_tn Silent Hues

Directed by R.Rohini

The spoken and unarticulated thoughts and emotions of six child actors who vary from a confident star in the making to an unknowing infant.


Something to chew on

Director: Sanjay Barnela, Madhyama Subramanium & Ananya Roy

The simple pleasure of consuming supari in its various forms!


Turf Wars

Director: Sanjay Barnela & Vasant Saberwal

The film explores contradictions of the government’s policies towards conservation – wherein local livelihoods are expendable in the interests of biodiversity, but biodiversity must make way for national development.


Turf Wars Revisited

Directed by Sanjay Barnela

The film attempts to collate perceptions towards the National Park and the Parvati Project, five years after their establishment in the Kullu Valley.


Water Business is Good Business

Directed by Sanjay Barnela & Vasant Saberwal

This film travels from Delhi to Indore and from Bombay to Chennai, exploring the politics and economics of urban water supplies.

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To know about other films in the Under Construction collection, visit