The nuances of human trafficking By Rina Mukherji
Understanding Trafficking stresses the difference between women who
migrate and join the sex trade and women who are trafficked into the
sex trade More...
Dangerous tastes By Pradeep Baisakh
With the first genetically modified food poised to enter the Indian
market, a timely documentary entitled Poison on the Platter shows how
little the Indian public knows about what it is consuming More...
How a mouse can change your life By Huned Contractor
The documentary film Chhoti Si Asha shows how teaching school dropouts
computer skills can help them find new livelihood opportunities
The travails of Bagh Bahadur By Manjira Majumdar
Kaler Rakhal explores the cultural displacement and loss of livelihood
of West Bengal’s bahurupis (performing artists) in the time of
The politics of popular culture By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
By reconstructing the life of Rasoolan Bai, well-known tawaif and
thumri singer from Varanasi, The Other Song illustrates how romance
and physicality were obliterated from culture More...
The mean seas By Rina Mukherji
The Centre for Science and Environment’s documentary, Mean Sea Level,
looks at the human tragedy behind the statistics of internal
displacement due to rising sea levels and erosion in the Sunderbans.
But, says the reviewer, for such an important and topical subject, the
film could have explored other angles and presented a more holistic
Life is beautiful By Huned Contractor
C Vanaja’s award-winning film documents the grit and gumption of four
HIV-positive widows in Andhra Pradesh More...
Killing us slowly… By Huned Contractor
Sumit Khanna’s documentary Mere Desh Ki Dharti investigates pesticide
overuse in Punjab, and its deadly impact More...
Divisive colours of caste By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
A report on the discussion surrounding a recent screening of Umesh
Agarwal’s ‘Divided Colours of a Nation’ More...
Dead end on the road to development By Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Three films screened at the PSBT Open Frame International Film
Festival in September critique the dominant development model by
examining the lives of three communities -- subsistence farmers in
Uttaranchal, the fisherfolk of Chilika, and Delhi’s ragpickers More...
Anjam By C K Meena
A discussion following a screening of Ajay TG’s film on Dr Binayak Sen
explored both, the increasing threat to human rights defenders, and
the increasing extremism amongst India’s economically and politically
disadvantaged adivasis More...
More than a maid By Huned Contractor
Nishtha Jain’s documentary Lakshmi And Me explores the relationship
between two women -- mistress and maidservant More...
When water kills By Huned Contractor
Two documentaries focus on pollution in UP’s Hindon river, and the
consequent health problems of the residents of the area More..
Case of the mysterious flamingos By Huned Contractor
Ashima Narain's film on the flamingos of Sewri Bay, in Mumbai, is
unique in its attempts to explain why and how scores of these
magnificent birds flock to one of Mumbai's most polluted areas More...
Worth more than a pinch of salt By Aparna Pallavi
Two films about the life and work of salt workers highlight the
problems of this sadly neglected sector More...
Cinematic views on conflict By C K Meena
A recent film festival in Bangalore featured 14 films dealing with a
range of disputes and differences among family members, between
workers and management, across races, communities and countries. The
films revealed the similarities in the dynamics of conflicts ranging
from a local water dispute to a war between nations More...
Tracking the tiger By Huned Contractor
Krishnendu Bose’s Tiger -- The Death Chronicles -- examines the
failure of India’s efforts to protect the tiger. It also highlights
Lightning rarely leaves a trace By Aseem Shrivastava
Amar Kanwar’s The Lightning Testimonies addresses the theme of public
rape in the South Asian sub-continent, how it is recorded and how it
is remembered, in an understated yet strongly haunting manner More...
Cleaners of the waste By Huned Contractor
The documentary Kachra Kondi, produced by Pune's municipal workers'
union, provides a shocking insight into the lives and work of
sanitation workers More...
Flush and forget By Huned Contractor
Pradip Saha's Faecal Attraction follows water from the toilet to the
Ganga-Yamuna, throwing up several disturbing thoughts about the
disposal of human waste along the way More...
Invasion and dissent By Max Martin
The Vibgyor film festival in Thrissur this May focused on invasions of
land, air, water and human rights, and on the dissenters whose voices
are seldom heard More...
The grim legacy of war By Huned Contractor
Bangladeshi filmmaker Yasmine Kabir's A Certain Liberation simply
follows Durubhashi, a Bangladeshi woman who lost her family in the
1971 war. Along the way, the film makes a powerful statement on the
futility of war More...
Save the Onges By Huned Contractor
A new documentary on the Onge tribals of the Andaman Islands explores
the death touch of civilisation More...
The gods must be angry By Huned Contractor
Sanjay Barnela's Devta Activists explores the traditions of
conservation promoted by the deities of the Kulu valley and how these
traditions are losing ground to state-sponsored 'development' More...
BYOFF: Sun, sand and a bunch of interesting films By Huned Contractor
'Bring Your Own Film Festival', scheduled to kick off on February 21,
at Puri, in Orissa, has no room for hierarchy, bureaucracy or awards.
It's all about film appreciation with no boring add-ons More...
The ends justify the means? By Amrita Shah
In the space of a year we have had two films --Rang De Basanti and
Guru -- which tread dangerously close to preaching anarchy More...
'A film about people, not religion' By Huned Contractor
Rahul Dholakia discusses his film Parzania, the true story of a boy
who goes missing in the midst of the Gujarat riots More...
The Yamuna gently weeps By Huned Contractor
Ruzbeh Bharucha's book and documentary film, Yamuna Gently Weeps, on
Delhi's Yamuna Pushta slum demolition, is the story of faulty urban
Celebrating the midwife By Huned Contractor
Delhi-based filmmaker Sameera Jain's documentary Born At Home focuses
on the skills and relevance of almost 1 million traditional midwives
or dais in India More...
After the flood By Huned Contractor
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit's documentary on the July 2005 deluge in
Mumbai attempts to jolt Mumbai's civic administration out of its
Thirst :: Struggles against the privatisation of water in Bolivia,
India and the US More...
MANY PEOPLE, MANY DESIRES
Two films that explore the prejudices against sexual minorities and
commercial sex workers More...
Youth for Bhopal
A student group from Delhi have made a film and published a report on
the continuing tragedy of the gas-affected in Bhopal More...
Four women poets in Tamil Nadu claim the inner and outer spaces of
their bodies for themselves. The self-celebrating author of The Vagina
Monologues would find her material completely up-staged here More...
On My Own By Arshia Sattar
India's metropolitan cities allow single women economic and
professional freedom. But the five single women from New Delhi
featured in this documentary find their personal freedom compromised
The Land of the Diggers By Arshia Sattar
In this film from Jharkhand, India, indigenous people talk about
themselves and their ancestors, their migrations and exiles, their
continued exploitation and marginalisation More...
The Indian Witch Hunt
Filmmaker Rakhi Varma's documentary on witch hunting was declared Best
Film at the ShowReal Asia 2 Awards, and has premiered on the National
Geographic channel. A report on the film, and an interview with the
Work in Progress By Arshia Sattar
This film on the World Social Forum in Mumbai in 2004 is a neat and
comprehensive vehicle for disseminating the big ideas of the WSF
Warriors on Wheels & Manavya By Arshia Sattar
Two short films that show how alternative communities can be formed
This feature film by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti charts the
evolution of an illiterate woman from a dummy panchayat president
elected under the 73rd amendment to a committed, responsible and
Where the twain shall meet By Arshia Sattar
This is a film about the dalits of Punjab and their embrace of Sufi
A middle-class dream of development By Sharmila Joshi
There are problems with the vision of development that the Hindi
feature film Swades promotes and its portrayal of the upper-caste
educated NRI as the harbinger of social change through quick-fix
My Migrant Soul By Arshia Sattar
Yasmine Kabir's film is a chilling reminder that under the glitz and
neon of the global economy lie buried the hopes and dreams (and
sometimes the bodies) of poor and desperate migrant workers More...
The Great Indian School Show
185 TV cameras keep close watch on every movement of the students at a
Nagpur school. Filmmaker Avinash Deshpande's documentary questions the
impact such surveillance can have on students More...
Close encounters in the fast food nation
Morgan Spurlock's Academy Award-nominated Supersize Me! demonstrates
that junk food of the McDonald's kind will cost us our health and
sanity. But the film would have done well to go further and question
consumerist economies, the manufacture of consent and the power of
The Rock Star and The Mullahs
As the religious right all over the world impinges upon cultural
freedom, a BBC documentary follows rock star Salman Ahmed of the
Pakistani band Junoon into northwest Pakistan, where the mullahs have
banned and silenced all music as un-Islamic More...
Page 3 People
Madhur Bhandarkar's film reveals what goes on behind the gloss and
glamour with such gloss and glamour that it inadvertently ends up
glorifying the very ethos it sets out to critique More...
Some Roots Grow Upwards: The Theatre of Ratan Thiyam
A timely film on the theatre of Ratan Thiyam explores the feeling of
oppression and injustice that pervades the psyche of the Manipuri
The Source of Life for Sale
Across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi,
local people speak out against commercial interests soaking up their
water resources More...
The City Beautiful (Sundar Nagari)
A fly-on-the-wall account of two families in a low-income
neighbourhood of New Delhi, living on the edge of globalisation, on
the edge of 'India shining'
Tales of the Night Fairies
A film about the confidence and vitality of Sonagachi's sex workers, a
charmed circle where women have control over their bodies, where they
choose their clients, and insist on the use of condoms
Miles To Go
A 6000-km bus journey documents several industrial and environmental
disaster zones in India
Manjuben, Truck Driver
India's only female truck driver wants to travel and be free. And she
has found a way to live the life she wants
A Night of Prophecy
Amar Kanwar's film takes the viewer from Kashmir to Andhra Pradesh,
recording songs of oppression, pain, exclusion and marginalisation
Ladies Special/ A Pyramid of Women
Two recent films explore the supportive and assertive spaces that
women carve out for themselves in the metropolis of Mumbai More...
Naata /Ektaa Sandesh
Monteiro and Jayasankar’s Naata is about Bombay, and about Dharavi,
the city’s most economically efficient neighbourhood, but the heart of
the story lies with two extraordinary citizens, Waqar Khan and Bhau
Korde and the making of their film, Ekta Sandesh. More...
Matrubhoomi - A Nation Without Women By Huned Contractor
Manish Jha's Matrubhoomi - A Nation Without Women, a futuristic story
about a village with no women, has created a storm with its
no-holds-barred presentation of female infanticide More...
A film that centres around a chat room filled with the voices of older
Indian feminists and younger urban women searching the ideologies of
feminism to find a room of their own More...
Development Flows From the Barrel of a Gun
This film presents and examines orchestrated state violence against
indigenous and local peoples when they protest against development
projects on their lands More...
In Dark Times
How fascism grows and takes over unsuspecting societies More...
The Bee, the Bear and the Kuruba
A document of the displacement of indigenous lives, not by
‘development’ but by ‘eco’-development More...
The Kols, a tribe that inhabits the badlands of Bundelkhand, struggle
with bonded labour, the fraudulent seizure of their lands and a
national democracy that does not seem to include them in any way at
A portrait not simply of family dynamics, but of the spaces that women
must continually negotiate between the home and the world More...
Words On Water
A film that explores the struggle of the people of the Narmada Valley
against the big dams that threaten to submerge their lands and
displace them from their homes, traditions and cultures More...
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