Dear friends, film-lovers & countrymen,
The widows of the Green Revolution in Punjab invite you to share their stories at the screening of the National-Award-winning film ‘Candles in the wind’.
Opening Film at the JEEVIKA Film Festival.
[ 13 December, 2014 <at> 10:30am
University of Chicago Centre,
DLF Point, Next to Hanuman Mandir,
Connaught Place, New Delhi.
[ On Sunday, December 14, at 4pm,
The Gandhian Satyagrahis of Narmada Valley invite you to a screening of DAMMED - a film on the anti-dam struggle.
The filmmakers Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl will be there to meet the guests attending the screening.
Please forward this mail to kindred souls who would hate to miss this.
About the Films:
‘Candles in the wind’
HD/ Documentary/ India/ 52 min./ 2013
A film by Kavita Bahl & Nandan Saxena
- the land of the five Rivers...
- the food bowl of India...
The petri-dish of the 'Green Revolution.'
The escalating farm suicides and cancer in Punjab are perhaps the best-kept secret of the Indian state today.
All school and college text-books sing paeans in praise of the Green Revolution farming at Punjab. Popular cinema from Bollywood keeps this carefully cultivated image alive. The image is a mirage.
Behind the smokescreen of an idyllic Punjab, there is real smoke, from the smoldering pyres of the farmers who are committing suicide.
‘Candles in the wind’ investigates policy-induced non-remunerative agriculture and escalating farm-suicides in the heart of Punjab.
Where men found an easy escape in death, the widows bear the burden of their debt, and yet affirm their faith in life - taking care of children, ageing parents and the chemically-abused fields. With their backs to the wall, these women fight the State and the almighty Corporations.
History will not record the dirges of men who chose to die. Poets shall tell the stories of the women who silently shoulder the sky, standing tall amidst the ruins of the Punjab they love.
'Candles in the wind' witnesses the silent march of these women as they re-negotiate the rules of engagement and the politics of domination in their bid to survive. Their struggle gives us a window into the social-economic flux in rural India.
The strategies of survival and re-negotiation of spaces lends itself to a nuanced understanding of the silent under-currents of a gender-specific struggle in the larger narrative of surviving as a farmer in these times.
The film is a poignant portrayal of these brave farm-widows, with minimalist narration and a cinematic interplay of image and soundscapes.
Directors: Kavita Bahl & Nandan Saxena.
kavitabahl9-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org / nandansaxena-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org
+91-9910 037244 / +91-9810 367244
[ Special Mention, 61st National Film Awards / India/ 2013.
[ John Abraham National Film Award for Best Documentary /
SiGNS Film Festival / Kerala / 2014
[ Special Mention / IDSFFK / Trivandrum / 2014
[ Official Selection: Indian Panorama-2014, IFFI-Goa.
[ World Premiere: Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival/ Greece /’14
[ Official Selection: Documentarist Film Festival / Istanbul / 2014.
[ Tasveer: Seattle South Asian Film Festival/ USA/ 5Nov, 2014.
[ Two screenings at Hyderabad / March and April 2014.
[ Four screenings at Bangalore / April 2014.
[ SiGNS Festival / Kerala/ June 2014.
[ IDSFFK Festival / Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala/ July 2014.
[ Opening Film: Chandigarh Cinema Film Festival/ Chandigarh/ Aug’14.
[ Open Frame Festival / Delhi/ September 2014.
[ MenEngage Delhi Film Festival / Delhi/ September 2014.
[ Festival on Social Justice/ Chennai/ October 2014.
[ Men & Boys for Gender Justice Festival / New Delhi/ 8 Nov, 2014.
[ Kolkata International Film Festival / Kolkata/ 16 November 2014.
[ International Festival of India / Goa/ 25 November 2014.
[ Woodpecker Festival / Delhi / 11 December 2014.
[ JEEVIKA Festival / Delhi / 13 December 2014.
[ And many screenings for students & citizens groups.
HD/ Documentary/ India/ 63 min./ 2013
A film by Kavita Bahl & Nandan Saxena
DAMMED questions the paradigm of development that makes a priori assumptions that mega dams are critical to progress.
Dams that submerge prime fertile land imperil food security. Balance sheets of Dam corporations never account for people displaced, pristine forests submerged and fertile land lost forever.
‘Dammed’ is the story of the grit and determination of citizens defying venal Corporations and the strong arm of the government. It follows the drama inherent in the unfolding saga of the Narmada struggle.
In 2012, NHDC - the Dam Corporation - raised the water level of Onkareshwar Dam, defying court orders. The dreaded submergence was at hand. No alternate land, livelihood or compensation was provided.
This was the last straw.
In the face of this apathy, the villagers of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh did a ‘Gandhi’. They sat in the rising waters, submerged neck-deep, for 17 days.
The personal tragedy of the Dam-affected villagers and the larger paradigm of ‘development’ form the warp and weft of the narrative. These are stories of struggle and resilience, despair and hope.
The visual texture of the film shall give the viewers an intimate window into the lives of the people fighting for their rights. The aural texture of the film plays with the folk music, songs of protest and rural soundscapes of the Narmada valley. The river becomes a leit-motif.
Slowly, Narmada becomes the metaphor for a way of life that was sustainable. Dams become a signifier for the ham-headed ideas of ‘progress’.
The story of this unique struggle is relevant to all nations that have Rivers, Dams and People.
- Awarded Best Film in ‘Water for All’ category / Vatavaran Environment & Wildlife Film Festival/ New Delhi/ February 2014.
- International Premiere: FICA / Goias / Brasil / June 2014.
Nandan Saxena & Kavita Bahl are the recipients of the National Award for Best Investigative Film at the National Film Awards (2011), for the film ‘Cotton for my shroud’. They received a special mention for their film ‘Candles in the wind’ at the 61st National Film Awards (2013).
Almost two decades into filmmaking, they work in the genres of documentary and poetry films. Their oeuvre spans the domains of ecology, livelihoods, development and human rights.
They take workshops to initiate inquisitive minds into filmmaking and photography under the banner- Top Quark Workshops.
They have been visiting faculty at the Department of Culture and Media Studies, Central University of Rajasthan, where they taught Photography and Video-Production.
Nandan is also an avid photographer. In 2009, he had a 30-day solo exhibition of his photographs at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Recent articles in the Press:
Top Quark Films (P) Ltd.
+91-11-9810 367244 (Mobile)