R.P. AMUDHAN’s documentaries in Bangalore


In the month of July VIKALP BENGALURU brings a repertoire of
.

July 18 and 19 at 6.30 pm

Nani Cinematheque, Centre for Film and Drama (CFD)
5th floor, Sona Towers, 71 Millers Road, Bangalore 560052

Entrance for members only. Please bring your membership cards. If
you are not a member, please come to the venue half an hour before the
screening and register.

THE FILMMAKER WILL BE PRESENT ON BOTH THE DAYS

SCHEDULE:

Friday, July 18, 6.30pm

VANDE MATARAM – A Shit Version (Annexure to the documentary “Shit”)
2005, 6 minutes

SHIT
2003, 26 minutes

NOTES FROM THE CREMATORIUM
2005, 25 minutes

Saturday, July 19, 6.30pm

SERUPPU
2007, 74 minutes

THE ROAD
2008, 10 minutes

NIGHT LIFE
2008, 5 minutes

For more about the filmmaker, you can go to http://amudhanrp. blogspot. com/

SYNOPSES

VANDE MATARAM – A Shit Version (Annexure to the documentary “Shit”)
The music video juxtaposes the ‘patriotic’ song with visuals of
various activities of manual scavenging that still takes place in
Tamilnadu.

SHIT
Original name: Pee (in Tamil)
Mariyammal, a dalit (untouchable or harijan or scheduled caste) is a
worker with Madurai Municipal Corporation in Madurai, South India. She
is involved in manual scavenging activity ­ which still prevails in
India – and is in the payroll of the Government of Tamilnadu.
The film shot while she was at work, shows the extent of humiliation
she goes through everyday for 25 years. She sweeps, collects and
carries the night soil in a street adjacent to a Hindu temple, with
help of a broom, a vessel and some ash every morning without fail.
The film uses a lot of symbols to bring out the discrimination she
experiences while others lead a life with dignity around her.
The film has no voice over per se. It has no music. It also does not
have an activist or an expert but Mariyammal and her work.

NOTE FROM THE CREMATORIUM
Original name: Mayanakurippugal
Madurai city has a central crematorium, where dalits (the untouchables
or the harijans or people from the scheduled caste) are involved in a
traditional occupation that includes carrying dead bodies, burying or
burning them and finally accept whatever paid by the relatives of the
deceased ones.
The film is a journey into the crematorium to capture the various
rituals carried out by the dalits to their fellow citizens who
otherwise would not have touched them.
Ironically death comes alive to bring people together. An old Tamil
movie song is used in the film to provoke certain existential
questions about life and death. But it is mandatory to have knowledge
and skill to become a successful undertaker.

SERUPPU
Footwear in English
This is a socio-cultural documentary on the lives of Catholic
Arundhatiyars (Dalits/harijans/ untouchables) of Dharmanathapuram, an
old slum located at the heart of Tiruchirappalli in Tamilnadu, a
southern state in India.
The people of Dharmanathapuram are involved in making footwear, one of
the traditional caste based occupations of a dalit with in Indian
caste based society.
According to the Presidential Order 1950: Para 3, by the Union
Government of India, dalits or the people from the ‘lower castes’ in
the Indian caste system who do not follow Hindu religion (or those who
have converted to Christianity or Islam), are not considered as
Scheduled Caste (as any other Hindu dalits); And they do not get
access to reservation for jobs or in educational institutions and
other support mechanism that are otherwise available to a Scheduled
Caste according to the Indian Constitution.
Besides, the upper caste Hindus who have converted to Christianity
also follow their caste based practices such as discrimination,
exclusiveness, untouchability, and at times violence against their
fellow Christians who happened to be dalits.
This film brings out the discrimination and struggle faced by the
Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram who also face stiff
competition in the economic grounds as mechanization in the footwear
manufacturing continues to grow in the era of globalization.

THE ROAD
Who owns the road? Especially the highways? Thousands of trees, houses
and buildings are bulldozed along with local deities to make way for
the roads. Fast moving vehicles occupying huge space rattle bullock
carts and children. As we learn that it was Hitler who popularized the
concept of highways, the discourse expands to new horizons.

NIGHT LIFE
I am alone, but amidst people; I am asleep, but constantly awake; I am
an outsider. I am the other. It is the night that connects us. I am
the best consumer of all my woes. I protest by my presence among the
“sane” people. I refuse to move, though it is dangerous to me.

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