In the aftermath of a hooch tragedy In a terrible, but not-so-rare tragedy in rural West Bengal, 170 people lost their lives after consuming illicit liquor. But what actually happens after an incident such as this? Cholai, a well-researched black comedy, reveals the moral and social degradation that cuts across spheres, writes Shoma Chatterji.
The Dalit in Indian cinema Shoma Chatterji talks about caste and the portrayal of Dalit in Hindi cinema beginning with Bombay Talkies Achhut Kannya (1936) to Bimal Roy’s Sujata (1959) followed by many mainstream films, and the small-budget, low-key ones which have focused on this significant social issue in the past so many years.
Shooting nature’s wrath in Paradise In September 2014, Jammu and Kashmir was ravaged by floods and landslides. A brilliant documentary Kashmir Flood – Let the Vale Rise by Bilal A Jan captures the immediate after-effects of the worst floods in the state in a century that changed almost the entire topography of the state along with the lives of its residents. Shoma Chatterji reviews the film.
Churning our minds on India’s development The bi-monthly book review journal Biblio celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Its founder editors - Darryl D’Monte is one of its founder editors - were invited to the Chandigarh Literature Festival-2015, which was held earlier this month. D’Monte talks about an interesting book discussion he chaired at the festival.
A celluloid tribute to Gandhi At a time when we're drifting away from Gandhiji and the values he stood and fought for, a film like Gour Hari Dastaan comes as a reminder of what we've lost and forces us to reflect on why. Shoma Chatterji reviews this film about a Gandhian and his fight to prove that he was indeed a freedom fighter.
The path of Zarathustra The traditionalists and the liberal Parsis have an never-ending debate on how to keep their community and faith alive. Recently released feature film The Path of Zarathustra directed by Oorvazi Irani looks at this debate and more. Shoma Chatterji reviews the movie and talks to the director.
In defence of Pandit Nehru Darryl D'Monte talks about his recent participation in a discussion on Nayantara Sahgal's book on Nehru, which delves into Nehruvian policies, his cherished dreams, his lasting legacy and its importance in today's time.
A human gaze Harsh Mander's new book Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India talks about the growing inequality and the lack of compassion amongst the rich for the poor in India. Darryl D'Monte reviews the book which despite its candidness about the grim realities offers a message of hope and promise.
Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai : Unique example of solidarity Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts in western Uttar Pradesh had their long standing communal harmony destroyed by the riots that took place there in September 2013. Shoma Chatterji reviews the powerful documentary Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai which looks closely into the how, why and the aftermath of these riots.
The story that tells you what our courts are really like 'Court' narrates a compelling story and evolves into a hard-hitting realistic portrayal of the Indian legal system, far removed from depictions seen so far in mainstream cinema. Shoma Chatterji reviews the film with a deep exploration of all that sets it apart from a regular courtroom drama.
What to expect when you watch the most talked-about film today Though based on strong reporting, India’s Daughter remains restricted in its scope, and even strays from its purported objective, thanks to a very pronounced colonial supremacist gaze, writes Shoma Chatterji in a dispassionate review that cuts through the noise.
A paean to Chhattisgarh from an exiled lover Dr Ilina Sen’s association with Chhattisgarh and her deep, empathetic understanding of its society and culture have come lyrically alive in "Inside Chhattisgarh: A Political Memoir." Freny Manecksha reviews the book.