Friday, March 16, 2007

don't look away

Watched Mira Nair's 'The Namesake' at MAMI's International Film Festival of Mumbai. The movie was the closing movie of the festival and was preceded by an awards ceremony. Several personalities associated with movies spoke---Girish Karnad, Govind Nihlani, Sonali Kulkarni, K Shantaram(?) and each of them spoke of their lives, their experiences in the film industry, whom they are grateful to, how unique the festival is, what they thought of the future of cinema etc.

The highlight of the evening (including the movie which I thought was average) for me was a very short speech by Aparna Sen. She received an award (i forget which) and was described as a humanist director by the awardee. In her two-minute speech, she did not speak much about her films nor the award, she reminded everyone of the diminishing democratic processes around the country, the lack of respect for human life, the skewed media angle and their thirst for celebrity news. No doubt her speech had Nandigram at the back of her mind, which she mentioned and also pointed to sufferings of the poor in other parts of the country. She concluded by saying "don't look away", do whatever you can to change the situation, but if you ignore it, it will only become worse.

p.s.: "Dont' look away" also happens to be a song in her move 'Mr. and Mrs. Iyer'.

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